Time for

Things I thought as I followed Google’s directions instead of Hertz’s:

“I’m not going to take a left here.”

“No, I’m not going over the George Washington Bridge.”

“The Holland Tunnel is right there — why are you telling me to turn around?”

“Please, Hertz, allow me to turn this thing off. I know what I’m doing.”

“NPR should be louder.”

“I should turn up the volume.”

“I know where I’m going now! I put you in the ‘off’ position! Shut the fuck up, please!”

And so on.

The other problem with Hertz’s GPS system is that you can’t hide the GPS unit itself — throw it in the glovebox or what have you. It’s screwed into some holster with fucking wires and shit and weird dodecigonical (if that’s even a word, which it isn’t) screws that you can’t undo for the life of you, and so, when you arrive home well over an hour and a half after Hertz has closed, you have to figure out how to mask the fact that your vehicle, in a sorta sketchy neighborhood, has an object ripe for the stealing plainly visible to anyone who walks by.

Which, let’s face it, this is New York.

After much deliberation — during which time, you “hide” the immovable GPS unit by draping it with your sports coat from the week — you opt to explore the nearby 24-hour deli, figuring, “If I park here, the 24-hour deli acts as a disincentive to stealing the GPS unit.” You also exchange the jacket for a ratty old hoody, figuring, “If they’re gonna steal the GPS, they’ll steal the jacket, too. Plus! The hood on the hoody can more believably mimic the SHAPE of an immovable GPS unit to a prowler.” This whole time you’ve been obsessed with making the cover on the immovable GPS as convincing as possible. A sweatshirt is both 1) more convincing for the sloppiness of the placement, and 2) better suited to the job of covering up odd shapes — ESPECIALLY WITH THE ADDITION OF THE ARM THROWN OVER THE TOP OF THE HOOD COVERING THE GPS UNIT! IT JUST HAPPENED THAT WAY, OKAY?!?

*

Not only is the spot I had eyes for open, I’ve been given room to get as close as possible to my 24-hour deli. My guard dog.

*

I put the hood of the hoody over the immovable GPS unit. Crossed an empty arm over it. The rest is on the dash, as if I just finished a run and nonchalantly threw it off when I parked. And did I mention that it’s directly across from a deli that never closes? Or did I mention the cameras?

Those are there, too.

Point of the story — if I’d just let the thing get jacked, I’d be able to 1) spend most of the workday tomorrow on the phone with bosses and insurance people, etc., 2) I am a responsible and considerate employee, 3) I am paranoid, 4) That whole parking it in front of the 24-hour deli was pretty good, right?

*

I saw a friend of mine yesterday. We hadn’t seen one another in years. He’s doing his PhD at an Ivy, and we had a drink or two, and he told me to go to a waterfall, and so I went. This morning — an hour diversion, but I’d worked from 7 AM to 8 AM, so I didn’t feel bad when I left at 8:30.

I took photos of the waterfall and thought about Heraclitus. Then I spent most of the day driving, thinking about rivers, occasionally hitting my wipers, radio, cigarettes, Snapple, Powerade, coffee. No beef jerky, though. A major oversight.

Nor sunflower seeds.

Next time though.

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