Carlessness, Homelessness, and a Sea of Golden Butterflies

I sold my car last week. T’was already the second time I said goodbye to a vehicle this year; unlike the first, I couldn’t have been more thrilled to sign over this title.

The reasons for selling were many — impatience, finances, the government — and, ultimately, I went with my gut. My gut said a new story needed to be written, and so the page shall now turn.

Goodbye, Des. Thanks for getting me from point A to point B these last six months. We went to Nashville together, we went to Chattanooga together, we went home to Georgia together, and we went all the way to Chicago together. And now, we part ways forever.

Gosh, I’m so dramatic.

I’m carless again. When I lost Mitsy earlier this year, I felt completely untethered to the rest of humanity. I felt homeless, in a way.

In all my adult life, I’d never been without a car. I’d always been able to drive wherever I please between one ocean and another, and I very often did. For nine months on the road, that car was my home; far beyond that road trip, Mitsy was my most consistent home.

To go suddenly without a car and a home — well, it was jarring.

Thankfully, I live within walking distance of my job and downtown and grocery stores and Chick-fil-A, and I have a roommate with a car, and I survived that former period of carlessness. I survived then, and so I shall again brave this new season of carlessness.

I still have Mitsy (my bike) along with my capable, spritely legs. Winter is coming, and so I must bundle up from the front door to wherever I wander until I get a new car next month or next year or next season. Inconvenient. But not devastating.

When I lost Mitsy (my car), I started walking to work every day and started seeing things I’d have never noticed behind a front wheel: dew droplets on leaves, the man jogging with his dog, the steepness of the sidewalks. I started “snapping” my daily walks on Snapchat (@thomasmarkz), and it’s a morning tradition I continue to this day.

Just today, I set out on foot again like old times and rounded a corner, and there it lay before me: a sea of golden butterflies. Leaves from the line of ginkgo trees downtown scattered in the street like a magic carpet that could flutter away at any moment.

I could choose to be angry and annoyed at God or the universe or the government, or I could walk out the door with a scarf and a deep breath and choose to fantasize about flying away on a ginkgo carpet ride.

Today, at least today, I choose the latter.

This is Day 27 of #MakeNovemberTolerable. Keep checking back every day this month for new stories and discoveries of beauty where beauty may be hard to find.