Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Goodbye Said

It finally happened; yesterday the car that was with me for so long was towed away. It was a long process of trying to figure out where the car would go, and Saying Goodbye took longer than I expected, but it is gone now.

In the article linked above, I wondered what the final drive would be like. Sadly there was no final drive as whatever was wrong with it has prevented it from starting. This didn't prevent me from going to my car last night to say goodbye.

Fittingly enough it was a very gray and rainy evening. With my emotions the way they were I did not notice the rain as I walked the quarter block to the car that has been in my life for a decade. The doors were unlocked so I stepped into the familiar driver's seat and was flooded with emotions.

As I remained seated I tried to remember all the places and all the events that have happened in that car. I first remembered taking Emily to the 2001 Brickyard 400 to remembering the madness that is the traffic in New York City. That car, to me, represented freedom. I grew up in that car and now time was running out.

With each second that I sat in my car I knew it would be harder to exit. This was very much akin to saying goodbye to a pet when you know their health is failing and the only logical thing to do is to say goodbye. I truly felt as if my car was angry at me. True, it is an inanimate object, but travel as many miles as I did in that car and you too, perhaps, will feel as if all the nuts, bolts, and steel have a soul.

It is gone now. There is no black 1995 Nissan Maxima sitting outside where I live. I now feel some anger towards my new vehicle and maybe this is the same reason why some people wait to get a new pet after the death of the other. My new car isn't my old car and I am angry for that. Sure, there are improvements such as the fact that the struts in my new car don't click constantly, and I can no longer call my car a horse killer, but as a person that rode in my car last September said, "Hey, your car is loud, but that just means it has character".

With it being gone I am doing everything I can mentally to keep intact the memories from it. Having what I call an associative memory system means that my memories are kept fresh by the items, or in this instance car, that are associated with the memory. With the car gone I am worried that I might lose the vividness of what it was like to leave Denver at 2:30AM on my way to Las Vegas, or the tenth of a second I had that I was sure I was going to die when I hit that horse.

I will typically say change is bad and today I am holding my new car in contempt. I know that over the course of the next decade new memories will be etched in it, but for now it is an empty shell. It has no memories tied to it and above all else, it has no character.

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