It’s late. I’m late. My alarm was set correctly, but I had neglected to properly adjust the volume. I hurry through a shower and get quickly dressed. I check my phone to find that my ride had went on without me. My own fault. The bus will take too long, if it shows up at all. I call two taxi numbers, but neither picks up. It’s New Year’s Eve at 11:30pm, so that was a long shot anyway. My last resort, realistically, should have been my first choice.
I open the vehicle-sharing app car2go on my phone and notice a lone available blue icon, 513 metres away. I book it quickly and am relieved to see it turn orange, making it mine and mine alone for the next half hour. As I walk out my front door in my Himalayan walking shoes, I see another car in the distance, about a football field away, with a couple in between, walking towards it. I check the app again and see that a new blue icon has sprung up in the precise area I’m looking. I want that car. Without hesitation I cancel my initial booking, but in the intermittence, my ideal car had been booked. I quickly try to rebook the first car, but it’s too late. I was careless. Now I’m carless.
The entire area now devoid of transportation, my heart rate quickens, and I run towards my intended destination, judgment clouded by potential disappointment. After a couple of minutes, I happen to notice that I had just walked by a car2go. I pull out my phone to see if it is available, but as expected, no icon appears. Out of breath, I pause to rest on the hood of the white and blue branded vehicle, and I glance down to see a flashing green light. The car, still not on the digital map, is free and waiting for me to take it. It is as if it was planted here, just for me, keeping itself off the grid to protect it from the other scavengers. I scan my card, and seconds later the door unlocks.
It’s 11:50pm. I can still make it. I’ll be beginning the new year the way I want it to end, with the woman I love and the people I want with me always. I start the car, ready to drive off.
But I’m stopped by an unknown feeling. Something greater than myself, greater than the physical world, holds me back. I sink into the seat, more at peace with myself here than anywhere. I had recently been awarded ten free minutes driving in their fleet, and the thought of this relaxes me further. I sit silently, watching the tall buildings in front me as they buzz with excitement and anticipation of a new start, failures forgotten and dreams renewed. I know the calendar has turned over by the exploding firework above the river, and I realize that here, in this car2go, is the only place I’ll ever truly be happy.
[Editor’s post-post note: The iSmith Birthdeath Effect™ almost worked its sorcery again by attacking Mr. McKay’s heart, but apparently Christian Bale used a little witchcraft of his own to make sure that he survived.]