Which is exactly what I was. After recklessly chasing landmarks -- Have I passed that McDonald’s before? Wait, is that the same Honda dealership? -- changing lanes, and taking turns on brute whim, I fully abandoned hope. I’d be lost till the sun came up, I concluded grimly, and possibly the whole day after. The fuel gauge dipped with my spirits. Night seeped in through the windows. Despair reigned.
Just then, from the inky industrial murk, an unlikely sight swam into view: a clean, well-lighted drive-thru ATM -- my bank, no less! The parking lot of this corporate oasis was empty and entirely yellow, as if spotlighted by the moon itself.
I have no idea how much money I withdrew from this blessed machine; I was so high on relief I probably overdrafted my account. I also had no idea how to get back to the bowling alley, but was able to easily find my way once the panic subsided. I returned from the ordeal as a conquering hero, acting as if I had never doubted my own resolve or the Windstar’s notorious transmission. With cash in hand, we bowled into the night, triumphant.
The city streets can’t give me that. They can’t offer the meditative mind clearing of buying gas in an empty filling station, or the methodical comfort of jumping a dead battery on a grass patch safely beyond the shoulder.