Friday, June 13, 2014

My Current Car

I don't have much experience shopping for vehicles. My first car was a hand-me-down, and my second vehicle was purchased for me without my knowledge.

All of the experience I have with shopping for cars comes from my current vehicle.

After my truck was destroyed from an act of God, my parents decided that it was time for me to invest in a new car instead of a used one, which I thought was kind of strange since, against all odds, the death of my truck had nothing to do with the fact that it was used.

I actually argued against getting a new car, figuring it to be a waste of money when a used car would be just as good. My parents insisted, though, so I found myself at a dealership just days after my truck exploded.

The first place we went to was a Honda dealer. After test driving one vehicle, I made up my mind. My parents wanted to take me to other places, but I chose right the first time and ended up with the car I have now. I have no regrets.

This car has been on some serious adventures, far more than either of my previous vehicles. After a few years of a 45-minute commute to and from college and a half hour commute to and from work on a daily basis, it didn't take long for the mileage to stack up.

Then, I got involved with Starmen.Net conventions and Fangamer, which led to cross-country trips from south Louisiana to Chicago, New York, Orlando, Tucson, Boston, and lots of places in between.

The car has been through a lot:
  • Snow: On the way home from one PAX East or another, I hit snow on the way through Pennsylvania. I had never seen that much snow before, but apparently my car handled it like a champ, and again later on an icy trip to MAGfest.
  • Floods: During the aftermath of a hurricane I believe, I found myself driving down a road covered in water. I drove through, watching in horror as my car waded through, knowing that going in reverse and turning around were not options. If I had opened the door, the inside of the car would have flooded up to the seat. The car made it through, though, without incident.
  • Accidents: I've rear-ended a few people and have been rear-ended. There's no evidence for these events, though.
  • Suicidal animals: I've run over one dog, a squirrel, at least a rabbit or two, and an alligator in this car. Each incident was a tragedy, though I find myself regretting the dog most of all, though there was nothing I could do.
Through everything, the only apparent damage to the car is a few scrapes here and there, most of which i think I got after moving to Tucson. The only lasting problem I have with the car is the air conditioner, which has been faulty for years now despite numerous attempts to fix it. In fact, it's in the shop now for that reason, and I intend to finally get that problem sorted out for good.

In short, I love my car, and I have no plans to get rid of it until electric cars become a bit more affordable. So, I expect I'll be selling it in about 3-4 years.

We've done a lot together, that car and I. I've sang in it, slept in it, and cried in it. I've had long, thoughtful conversations with friends in it, and I've driven for hours in silence, without even the radio playing, just listening to the sound of the engine and the road as the miles fly by.

I remember returning to my car after asking a girl out, pulling myself together and wrapping my mind around the fact that she said yes. I've had many a romantic moment, reaching across the armrest for a touch, a glance, a kiss...

I've hid in the car, writhing in pain from a headache, a heartache, or whatever else.

I've loaded the car up with all of my most important worldly possessions, fleeing a storm that threatened to wipe out my home.

No person has listened to me sing as loud and as pure as my car has. It's been there for me longer than many of my friends, and certainly more constantly. She's a part of me, like a body part, an extension of my will.

When I say we've been through a lot together, I mean it: though it isn't alive, it's a part of my life in a very real way, perhaps sadly in a way that no other living thing has been or can be.

We still have some time together yet, I believe, but it only just now occurs to me how much I'll miss her when she's gone.

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