My car died today.
Or, more specifically, my car’s battery died today.
The battery froze to death. The weather had been excruciatingly cold since last week, and it was already too late when I realized that I had to regularly run the car’s engine to keep its battery from dying.
And so my car died.
When the pandemic hit last March, winter was already at its tail-end. The temperature rarely went below minus 30, and I also still lived with my parents. My dad made sure that our cars’ block heaters were plugged in every night. He also drove my vehicle sometimes, just to get the engine running.
The seasons changed, of course, and so did my address. Unfortunately for me and for everyone else, the pandemic persisted. I got so used to staying at home it didn’t occur to me that I had a car to maintain during the cold season.
It’s not really a big deal, I guess. When the weather starts warming up again, I can call the CAA and ask them to revive my car with a new battery. I also work from home, so this limited mobility is really just a small dent to my routine. (First world problems, am I right?)
Still, I’m frustrated. I wasted a brand new battery simply because I forgot to turn the ignition on every few days or so.
I rarely leave the house, that’s why. This is the first winter that I truly get to stay at home just as I’ve always wanted. My third-world ass does not enjoy the snow at all. The bumpy roads, the frostbites, the frigid wind that gnaws at my bones — ang hassle, mehn! But now that I get to stay home, I also get to appreciate how pretty and soothing the snow can be.
“Winter quiet, winter calm,” says a poem.
“Trulaloo,” says me.
I still recognize how the snow can be a real bitch, especially to those who have no other choice but to brave the cold and painful commute. I am so, so lucky that my biggest problem right now is a dead car. There are others — many others — who are not as fortunate.
Sometimes I wonder: does reminding myself of my own privilege keep me from being happy? Should I refrain from doing it? Should I just accept that I am genuinely bothered about not having a car even if I don’t really use it, and that I now appreciate the winter only because I get to witness it through the glass windows of my warm apartment?
I suppose the safe answer lies somewhere in the middle. It’s okay to enjoy the things that others may not be as lucky to have, and it’s just as okay to remind myself that all of this — the guilt, the privilege — is brought about by some bigger machinations that must be studied, questioned, and, ultimately, destroyed.
I wish the weather is warmer tomorrow. I wish the sun is bright and red, too.