Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The End of an Era

My first car was a black Honda Civic - 1998. I loved that car. I drove it for 7 years and then when my mom bought herself a new car I inherited her Accord. We didn't sell the Civic - it's been at my mom's house, appreciating in value.

So we've decided to sell it - put the money towards my taxes this year (which are ungodly). In making this decision I was forced to think back on our time together - me and my car - and I realized that one day I will talk about my "little black coupe" the way that Bessy Bad Ass talks about her "little red convertible".

My mom bought me the Civic about a month before my 16th birthday. It sat outside in a parking spot for a full month, taunting me day in and day out after school. That is, until I started taking it for joyrides in the afternoon.

I didn't do anything crazy. A few times I cruised to 711 for a slurpee. Another time I picked up my friend Nicole and we made macaroni and cheese - it was all really harmless. But when I finally had my license, the first thing I did in the evening was drive to the nearby strip mall where I bought a wallet. A wallet to hold my new drivers license. A fuzzy hot pink wallet.

There was also the time that a friend and I drove to Big Bear to go snowboarding. There was about a quarter of an inch of snow on the ground and because we didn't have chains for my tires, we had to turn around and go home. On this drive I got a speeding ticket going 99 miles an hour. This I did get in trouble for, and rightfully so! I look back and wonder how anyone could be so stupid as to be driving that fast anywhere. Although why they would make a car be able to go so much faster than any legal limit is beyond me. I doubt there are Civics cruising the autobahn so I really don't see the need for the speed...but maybe I'm just shifting the blame.

I drove this car to college and my dorm roommate happened to have the exact same car! Something we naturally bonded over and then inevitably disliked each other for.

I drove it to see Jon all the time when I was still living in Chico. It was very trusty - save for the two flat tires that left me in my pajamas, miles between highway exits and crying to the unsympathetic AAA lady.

And then I had it here, in San Francisco. I drove it the less than 1/2 mile to the preschool that I worked at so that I could go and get lunch everyday. Pathetic really. And then one day the drivers side door shut and was never to be opened again. From that moment on, my car was a constant source of humiliation. I would run into a neighbor in the parking lot and they would look puzzled as I approached the wrong door and of course greeting the parents of the preschool kids I taught each day provided a nice morning kick-off. Eventually I slid in and out of the passenger's side and over the center console like it was nothing, but it was always a scene.

To this day the door is stuck shut. My brother told me once that it might cost $500 to fix and I think we all agreed to leave it at that. My mom drives it occasionally to keep the battery going and she has never said one word about it being a pain in the ass. But I guess I can understand that because when I look at the car, sitting quietly in the garage, I don't even think of the door. I think of all the other millions of moments I had with my little black coupe and how I'll always remember it as My First Car.