Don’t get me wrong. I get the difference between people and things.
I love my family. But my car is, well, amazing. It has great lines. Looks like a race car. Holds its own alongside Lamborghines, Ferraris and Bugattis in the most upscale mechanic shops. And best of all, it thinks I’m queen of the road. I know this by the sound of the ignition. It purrs.
My Prelude has been part of my life for more than 24 years. It’s spent most of its years in the salt-laden air of Long Island’s south shore. This accounts for its pitted exterior and rusting pipes. Obviously the salutary effects of ocean breezes, so good for people, has the opposite effect on vehicles. Yep, I had a lot to learn.
When I consider the time my Prelude and I have been together, it gives life new perspective. Twenty four was the number of years it took Marco Polo to complete his epic round-trip voyage to Central Asia, part of China and back to Venice. It was the time it took me to give birth, raise a son, send him off to college, and see him succeed at his first job. Twenty four years is a long time.
My car was always at the ready when I wanted to see new places. Explore new things. Or give myself private time to solve life’s thorniest problems.
My son recently reminded me that my Prelude was at school with him during one semester of college. I don’t know if I blocked this particular memory because I missed my car during that time, or didn’t want to know what happened to him or the car. Sometimes, not knowing, is the best option of all.
Now my car is feeling its age. The power steering is faulty. Occasionally, the gear box doesn’t work at all. Nothing happens. At all! Thankfully, this is a temporary condition. I let my car rest for awhile. This downtime gives it the stamina it needs to get in gear. I consider this nothing less than a minor miracle.
These days I’m hearing from family and friends that it’s time to close this particular automotive chapter of my life. My Prelude served me well and I should be happy about that. It deserves a rest. I should donate it to a charity.
I consider these well-meaning suggestions. Then I feel sad.
The truth is my own back aches more than I’d like. As I get older, my gears don’t always work, and I need time to rest. When the time comes, will people want to put me out to pasture or pawn me off to a charity? I don’t know all the answers. But I do know that when I take my car out for a spin this weekend, I’ll find clarity. And feel comforted. That’s why I love my Prelude.
Did you ever feel this way about something you loved?