I'm not much of a mechanic. While I'm mechanically inclined (my grandfather was a mechanic for White Truck in Cleveland his whole life), it's not a skill that was passed down to me by my father. That's changing though. My best friend Bobby is teaching me the basic skills, and the Corolla just received new plugs, wires, and distributor, courtesy of me. The engine runs better, considering that before you could detach the plug wire on the #4 cylinder and the engine didn't even notice. She's still reluctant to start, but then she's carburated, so that'll be something else I can learn about, though the exhaust system is next on the list.

 Wrenching on your car, then seeing that there has been a noticeable improvement, connects you even more deeply with the machine. Not only is it something that you drive, it becomes you own personal creation, a work of art where your hands were involved in the process instead of an object that you admire. Getting grime under your fingertps, wiping the sweat off your brow, then the fateful turning of the ignition to see if it worked. It's like drilling for oil, but with a spiritual instead of a monetary payoff.


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