Car, Free

The old red car did not pass the MOT. Too many things to fix so we had to let it go.
I had turned out all the bits of shell and pebble, untangled the travelling charm from the rear view mirror.
Wondered how many hours would add up to equal time spent viewing the world in that back looking glass.
Breathed in the earth-salt squalor, the mould, the spills of coffee.
Heard myself singing. Ouch.
It is only a material thing, a car, no matter how immersed, how we feel our fibres are joined. Everything is a shell, I think: me too, I am made of stuff, so what I feel for the car is a universal compassion, personified, made specific to my story.
I lent life to it, and now I’m taking it back.
The thought of it crushed was saddening.
It was a reprieve when the young mechanic asked, could he have it: I signed it over, handed him a key.

So, no car, for me, for a moment. While I think and headache over figures, projections of cost and risk, while I long to live in a hedge.
Why can’t I just live in a hedge?
I like to travel though.
Used car? New car? Pictures of shining paint, neat interiors, future road trips, easy finance.
Glossy dreams are fun.
Figures are practical.
The urge to be boring is not strong, but: hearts and impulses and spontaneous joy, these are so easily manipulated, mirage-flimsy, distracting.
How is it that I wish to live?
I’ve been road-sided enough!
I think of all the time spent waiting for transport, how much I progressed in that pressed boredom. I can sit and rediscover the world, and such stories come to me, because I have learned to be engrossed, interactive. I think of navigating buses, trains, all that forced company, all that window gazing, how many surprises would be found: absorbed, the element of it became part of me.
The effort of travel: this I appreciate. Sore feet. Hands swelled out of shape from the handles of shopping bags. The satisfaction of reaching a destination: this I appreciate.
A new car?
On conditions of finance and never forsaking appreciation.
On condition to travel, not commute.
To remember that reality often is a construct of expectation.


Jo said…
I would hate to do without a car. One day, I guess, we might have to, we drive a 17 yr. old vehicle. We have spent a fair amount of money on it over the years, but it has been a good machine and it's always been less than buying another.
Geo. said…
You've struck a chord. I too get attached to cars, Lisa. When my '67 WV Bug burned up on Beltane ten years ago --I cried. Norma and I had our 1st date in that car to see "Hair" in San Francisco. I thought of Peer Gynt and the Button-Moulder's ladle. But still drive the '71 Bus, which you once called the Empress Dowager when we finally bought it a friend from this century.
Lisa Southard said…
Here's hoping your vehicle has more years than expenses :-)
Lisa Southard said…
I lay a metaphorical wreath for your '67 bug - impressive first date, glad that's still working out - and hurrah for the Empress Dowager- may she roll forever :-) xx
Dixie@dcrelief said…
I'm looking and I don't want to - it's tough!
Lisa Southard said…
At cars or at constructs of reality? Both are tricky! We went for new model, and lots of hoping we did the right thing...

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