There is an Old 97′s song called “If my heart was a car.” And if my heart was a car / You would have stripped it a long time ago. That is one of the many songs I sang at the top of my lungs in my 1992 aquamarine Honda Accord, a college graduation gift from my parents, which I drove 26,000 miles around the country in 2002. (Pictured, left: Badlands of South Dakota.) My God, I loved that car. I loved how simple it was to spot in a parking lot of black sedans and white SUVs. I loved how it started without a fuss, stayed cool in withering Texas heat, how it took me everywhere I needed to go, and rarely complained till the end, when the abyss was inevitable. No relationship will ever be that easy. For years after the engine went kaput, the car sat in my parents’ driveway — a kind of collective denial that we could not save it, reverse fate, fix it somehow. Before my father finally donated it to NPR, it gave shelter to rats and crawly critters and neighborhood cats and whenever I visited from New York, I would take a moment to lay a hand on its dimmed and rusted hood, thanking the car once again for its service. That car took me so many places. I miss it something awful.
This week at Salon, I wrote about that trip. Some of you might remember the trip I’m talking about, and if so I thank you for your service, too, because that means you have been reading this dimmed and rusted site for 10 years now.
You can read that story here.
UPDATE: Listen to me read a condensed version of the story on CBC radio.