November 12, 2007

Saying Goodbye

My 1996 Saturn, the one with 255,700 miles on it, is positioned at the head of the driveway, nose to the street. All my junk is cleaned out, the plates are off, I removed the aftermarket stereo, the door will be left open and the keys in it. Contractors for WNPR/CPTV are coming to fetch it; I am donating it rather than simply junking it or trying to sell it.

Call me a dork, but I got a little weepy yesterday as I finished clearing it out. That car has been with me for many years and many miles. I bought it soon after I started my business - I leased it for 3 years thinking it might make sense (being self employed) and then bought it when I had put too many miles on it (in effect making payments for six years). Still, it was a good value - I got so many miles out of it and did not put all that much money into it - gas and oil, tires and brakes, one set of shocks and struts, one clutch, one radiator, maybe a few sets of plugs and wires, and some odds and ends. It never broke down or left me stranded in all those years and miles.

I'm not the sort of person to personify a vehicle - none of my cars have had names or genders, and buying a car for me is a study in impartiality. But still, I've thanked things and spaces when I said goodbye to them. My house in Waterbury - I walked from room to room, thanking the house for sheltering me, for witnessed so many years. My first office in Newington - I walked the perimeter, facing each corner. And now this car.

I suspect with this many miles, the car is headed to the junkyard, or maybe being parted out. Or maybe not. Regadless, it's surely lived a long life and driven more miles than most. It's been as far North and East as Maine, as far South and West as Pennsylvania - but really most of its miles have been driven in CT and MA. A good solid decade of motion, of movement, of action.

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