Periodically I have automotive dreams. The dreams are always the same. I am back at my childhood home and while there I ponder the old detached garage. Nobody else is around, and I decide I should have a look inside.
Within will be one of my former cars, looking in remarkably fine repair. I am shocked, yet delighted. I thought this car was long gone, yet here it is. Why did I get rid of it, I ask myself. Let’s say it’s the old ’53 Chev I had in my late teens. I climb within and, in the accuracy of dream recall, the dashboard looks just like it did when last I saw it – decades before.
I put the key in the ignition – for some reason I have the correct key with me. I crank it over and it starts up beautifully. I am thrilled. I now have an extra car, and it is a former one that I cherished.
This scenario has included many former vehicles over the years and it is some kind of proof that motor vehicles have souls. Souls capable of possessing the psyche through eternity.
There is another element of the spirituality of a car that leads me to the soul-conclusion, and that lies in saying goodbye to an old vehicle when trade-in time comes around.
If I have liked a car, then there is always a pang of seeming disloyalty on the day it is to be sent on its way to be replaced by a brash newcomer. Somewhere within it seems that the car knows it has gone past its due date.
Wendy has been going through that lately and I empathize and sympathize. Today is the last day with us for her old Mazda 626. It has been a good car in the years since 2002 that it has been sitting in our garage or taking us to assorted destinations.
We’ve gone on some great road trips with it, with nary a glitch in functioning as it should have. When Wendy was working in Victoria it took her back and forth with stalwart resolve to serve as it was expected to. It never let her down. It was a pleasant, albeit uninspiring car. It was woefully lacking in power with the vehicle too large for its small engine. And it had reached a point in which it had nearly as many miles on the clock as a Havana taxicab.
It is being replaced by a beautiful, high-end, slightly used SUV. We’ve tried it out. It’s a beauty. Sorry, old Mazda, but the time is nigh. As painful as it is, we must shun you now for a brash and slightly tarty newcomer.
“I just feel so disloyal,” Wendy said this morning as she was prepared to depart for her place of business in the poor old, soon-to-be recycled one way or another, Mazda. “It has served me so well, somehow it doesn’t deserve to be just cast aside.”
“Well,” I said, “You’ve been divorced before. Sometimes it just has to happen, and then you just move on and eventually everything is OK again.”
I then leaned over and kissed the Mazda on her hood. It was the least I could do.
“See you in my dreams, kiddo,” is what I said as she departed in reverse out the garage door and down the driveway to the street, off to whatever new adventure awaits her.