Monday, January 21, 2008

On Vehicular Mourning

I got a new car today. The plow truck driver's insurance company deemed my Civic a total loss, and then paid me almost twice what it was worth for it. We thought long and hard about the situation, but could see no sinister intentions in the insurance company's actions. I won't pretend to understand their logic, but it works for me now. I'm sure they just intend to fix the Civic and auction it off as a salvaged vehicle, but at least the now-worthless vehicle is off of my hands.

I drove home this afternoon in a 2003 Mazda Protege5. I spent most of the day really excited about this development, and I'm not going to lie, it's a badass car. It's much better than my Civic, and currently has 130,000 less miles than my Honda did. It's nice to be in an updated vehicle.

But I couldn't help but notice my excitement had given away to a low-key sort of sorrow this evening. I'll miss my Civic. I'd been through a lot over the course of the five years I owned that car, and it was well lived-in. This is not to say that I physically lived in my vehicle, but that it was gently worn in a way unique to myself. I put a lot of money into the car, some quite recently, but I don't feel ripped off. I don't feel angry that I spent $600 on new axles not three months ago, and now that money is gone because I don't even have the car to show for it, let alone the axles. Instead, I feel bad that I had to give up on the Civic. I feel bad that I got it nice new axles and couldn't stick around to make use of them together. Maybe I'm making my car seem to much like a living being, but I can't deny that it treated me well. I can now understand why my mother was so angry years ago when someone hit and totaled her Suzuki Vitara. All she could say to justify her rage was "I loved that car." My Civic will be missed, and I hope it will forgive me for essentially selling it down the river.

I think it will. I'd like to think it was getting tired and old, satisfied with the roads it had romanced and the people it taxied.

Now is a new chapter, the Protege chapter, and I can only hope it will be as storied and lengthy as that of the Civic.

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