This day came. I’ve saved up my money and am prepared to write the check. Yet my heart is not taking having to say goodbye to this old guard. We’re going to a dealership to buy a new car. My family and I did our research online to ensure that the process is as painless as possible and that I will not mourn too much when the time comes. And yet I’m feeling a pang of sadness.
A few weeks ago, I went to yoga then to the post office to deliver a package. It was pouring rain, so if I cracked the windows open then water would come in and soak all of my papers. The AC had died the Monday before, and in Miami, even with fall winds the heat and humidity will collect in enclosed spaces. So I announced that it had happened, to our 21-year old model.
This car is practically the youngest sibling. My family got it in 1998 for my oldest sister. Or maybe it was within that range; whichever the age, I remember that it became the one that belonged to two of my sisters and then my brother’s. It never died on the road, and it never had a GPS that abandoned us in the dead of the night. That’s more than what I can say for some of our models. Or for some family members with whom we haven’t spoken in ages.
Divya would take the car to drive us to school, summer camp, and outings. We’d sing along to the Animaniacs CD checked out from the library. After my dad died, we would use it to go out for ice cream while the house was being renovated. Someone would put in CDs of The Beatles and Les Miserables. Later I would replace those with Tori Amos albums and audiobooks of whichever books were available at the library.
This car went with me to internships in other cities, and to various comic conventions. I listened to podcasts and an album on loop when going two hours to a friend’s wedding. When that friend later divorced, I drove an hour to their new house. The car has played Junot Diaz before he was outed as a creep, and Norwegian Viking tales.
When we finally sell it, it will be a rite of passage. I drove her on Sunday to make sure the tires didn’t go flat. The interior smelled the same and I rescued an important Sunpass device. Yet I feel lingering sadness. It’s the end of an era.
I must say farewell, faithful spaceship
You gave so many journeys through
I will spend my days mourning for your battered wings
Before I have to upgrade to something new
We had so many adventures together
Going north and south
Even when you needed changes
I never had my doubts
When we shared trips to far-off places
To determine my future in the stars
You kept me going past the crashes
And helped me own all my scars
The world’s become a useless sty
But we could always take the sky
You’re now going to land forever
While I find a new endeavor
But who can replace something like you
That’s ventured to the dark and cold
While heating up and wiping away
The grime that real life always holds
They say that I’ll forget you soon
When I drive a model almost new
But that won’t take away memories of
Parking spots and courtly love
When they bury you alive
I hope your scrap metal grows and thrives
While I go forward I will carry you
In all horizons black and blue
I take my new one for a spin
We navigate space with wanted ease
But I will never forget your creaky brakes
Or torn up fabric on the seats
Nothing about it at all neat