Last week a $500 auto repair, a throttle body sensor, a skip, a jump in the signal, after nine years, the press of a pedal no longer tells the whole story of how much fuel is being sent. Get out the gauge. My mechanic kneels down to diagram the problem for me, just as he had in his office. In my muddled dreams the instrument slipped in his hand and pointed directly at me. The needle quivered, hovered just above zero, barely registering, like that time at the DMV, back when they still used Polaroids, and they had to take my photo three times amid the laughter and vampire jokes.