tomorrow, i’ll see my first love for the last time. the one who held my hand for the first time. the one who guided me through relationships. the one who took me to coffee shops in the morning to wake up, in the afternoon to work, in the evening to converse. the one whom i sat with for countless nights, discontent as a teenager in the dimly lit streets of the suburbs. the one who carried me to safety from the storms. the one who would sit with me on new years eve when there was no one else. the one who let my hair feel the wind and my shouts ring through the freeway air. the one who heard so many tough conversations and never left. the one who carried me away from loneliness. the one who became my home when i didn’t know where else it could be. the one who gave me freedom and an identity. the one who helped me learn what community really means. the one who held all of my stuff as i moved. and moved. and moved. and moved. and moved. and moved. my consistency.
adventure in the midst of bore. joy in the midst of depression. grace as i learned to love. sharing my joys and laughter and fears and tears and excitement.
last tuesday, this one was hurt by an accident completely out of my control. i wasn’t hurt, thankfully, and this car collision didn’t look like that big of an event. but, as cliche as it sounds, i didn’t know how much this one meant to me until it was gone. when i got the call on yesterday that that was it, my car had been totaled, i went into business mode and started figuring out what actions i needed to take, what the insurance would take care of, what forms i needed to fill out, blahblahblahblahblah. then, thankfully in the midst of the most loving, caring, honest, gracious group of women i know, it hit me, accompanied by a whole load of tears. i loved this car. i didn’t know how much of my self was tied up in this big pile of metal. it had been a huge part of who i was. and yeah, it’s just a car. i know. i’ll get a new one. i know. i’m lucky in that. but there was something about all that i had experienced with this car and all that i had grown with this car. it was just being taken away from me. i’d always expected it to keep going until finally it couldn’t go anymore. then i would get to say a proper goodbye. but someone else decided that it was time. that i couldn’t have it anymore. that it’s damage would cost more than its worth. i wanted to tell bob at the repair shop that it was worth more than he knew. more than he could write me an insurance check for. but really, what would that do? nothing. it was gone. tomorrow i will go pick up the pieces of my life that i had left behind in it and say goodbye.
i’m sure this is just the next step in growing up. seems like i’ve left behind nearly everything else that defined me in my youth: houses, cities, places, clothes, guitars, old friends, singledom. a part of me knows that it’s time. time for me to move on and move into the next breath of my life. but it almost feels too soon.
so maybe i’m over-dramatizing this. and given, i’m still processing. but different things are different big-ness to different people and i’m not gonna be ashamed for spending a night bawling in the arms of the one i love about my pronounced-dead car. i care about this thing. so dammit, i’m gonna be as upset as i need to be and you can’t tell me that it’s not valid. it is. i am. this is what i feel. don’t tell me not to cry. to calm it down. not to be so extreme. to be reasonable. i am an emotional creature.
and because music helps me process, i will now go make a sentimental car playlist, full of cheese and beach boys songs. but the one that comes to mind first is by a family favorite, nanci griffith, called “ford econoline”: a song about a woman who finds freedom through this ford econoline. so i’ll allow these last lyrics to rush over me and speak truth and hope to me. and though i don’t hope i get a coupe deville, i know that once i get my next car, i’ll sing these lines about me and my lovely little honda:
“she drives a coupe deville but her heart rides still in that ford econoline.”