Isn’t it funny the things you get attached to? I teared up a bit bringing my car home from my friend’s house tonight. It was just for a second, but still.
I have to sell the car because the repair bills when something breaks are difficult for me to pay, and I have to sell it now because it’s a stick shift and I broke my foot and can’t drive it. I’m moving on and just bought a different automatic car that is really awesome and I love.. but still.
It’s the end of an era! I bought my beautiful mini-cooper S in 2006. If I could I’d keep it another 10 years. I have considered learning how to work on it myself so it’d make more sense. It’s the funnest car I’ve ever driven. There are faster cars and bigger cars and cars with more utility or whatever.. but my sporty little gem is the funnest car ever. It has toggle switches! It has a super charger! It has sport seats that hug your body while you drive it and it is so responsive it feels like you are WILLING it to go places. Burning through the gears getting on the freeway feels like you have rockets. You THINK about turning and it responds. You feel the road and the panoramic glass and being low like that feels like you are with the road, part of the road. That alone would make me miss my lovely Clara Bow. (I named her after the sexy red-headed spit-fire actress from silent film).
But it’s also what she represents. Still.
I bought her in 2006 after my last miscarriage. She was the step I took to embrace the fact that this last miscarriage took my chance at motherhood. I wouldn’t be having babies, so when I was ready I celebrated with a ridiculous car. It was impractical. It was fast. It was not suitable for the day to day life of a woman with a child. But I was young and childless and free. I could have frivolous red sporty cars I’d wind the supercharger up on driving over the mountain every day in Hawaii. (That’s where I bought her). She has a sticker from the University of Hawaii and Harley Davidson. It was how I embraced all the things I love about not having kids. It was part of me moving on. It was time to stop grieving. It was time to live.
I had so many adventures in that car and I love it dearly, but.. well.. it’s a car. So I’m letting go of another vestige of my old life. I got a really cool and much more practical car that I also love, but in a really different way. It freaks me out to have payments, but they are very low (Thanks for the downpayment Clara Bow will give back to my savings) and I’ll be able to budget for the expense rather than having a bunch of pricey surprises at the BMW mechanic’s.
I teared up thinking about letting go of the car “we” bought. I remembered 8 years. I saw my step-daughter singing with me and hanging her feet out of the window. I saw my ex-husband and I daring each other to have sex in that car, joking that it was too tiny and finding that it really really wasn’t. I saw my dog curled up in the back on her dog bed that fit so perfect on the seats folded down, and I saw myself driving and driving and driving all over Hawaii and later Seattle, and mending. I saw all the late night talks and all the trips. I saw all of my friends and I and all the times we’d had in that car. I’m such a nostalgic thing. I saw all the ferry rides and clearing the snow and singing at the top of my lungs and my boogie board in back. A lot of life happens in our cars and I teared up tonight realizing I’ll never drive her again. It’s like when you have a break-up and you have that moment you realize you won’t ever kiss them again and you think about your last kiss and how it was your last kiss.
My last drive in Clara Bow was on a Friday night, rushing home excitedly to go have drinks with Quinky Girl before we hit Bawdy Storytelling. I was thinking about the weekend ahead and singing “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone. As far as lasts go, that was a pretty good one.
You ever get like that? Get all nostalgic and sentimental about a car? A house? A motorcycle? A place? A thing? It’s funny the stuff we get attached to. It’s all metal and plastic and glass and fabric and sometimes wood, a thing, an object, a lifeless artifact, but still.. sometimes we breathe a lot of life into things and letting them go is an exercise in nostalgia. Yep. Moving on from the car that helped me move on.