Gone To N-plate Heaven

Normally with cars, before the end comes, there are a few months of slowly building frustration and anxiety when I can feel it dying.  Intermittent faults, failure to start, over-heating, bad smells, bits falling off.  I’ll have had to turn the stereo up so loud to drown out the rattling and grinding that CDs come out red hot, smoking.  This phase of annoyance reminds me that the car is a machine, not my friend, and that metals and hydraulics have obsolescence and that I need a reliable form of transportation or my day gets messed with.

My most recent car (nearly a decade), bless it, has never done me wrong. The driving seat fits me like Norman Bates's Mum's bed fitted her.  I can reach for buttons and switches in the dark.  Everything feels like it's in the right place. I know how low I can let things go, how long I can leave things, how much I can push it.    There's a family of spiders in the wing mirror casing.  Okay, it has rust, and it’s falling to pieces, but it always starts, it always gets me there, and I love it, but it’ll fail its not roadworthy because of a few cosmetic and body faults, so I’m going to have to scrap it despite the engine and stereo working perfectly.  It has gouges in the side,a cracked number plate, tobacco or ash in every nook and cranny; the driver’s window won’t open, the central locking has never worked, the exhaust is hanging on by a rusty nail; the heating is intermittent, the sun-roof leaks, the boot mechanism is long gone and falls on my head; the petrol cap release mechanism refuses to work and leaves me standing flummoxed in the garage; the ‘doors open’ red warning light has been on for three years, and the suspension is awful.  It’s olive, with a sprinkling of grime.

I am buying another car because there’s one to buy.  It’s silver.  I hate silver cars.  Bland.  It appears to have nothing wrong with it and it is 15 years newer than my current car.  It’s French, built by Union Labour.  It’s cheap and it runs on diesel so it should cost me less to run in the fullness of time.  It’s all good.

If I sell my green one for scrap someone might get the engine, the tyres could get shredded and used in children’s play areas, the metal might go to Jupiter on a space mission or get used to make crutches for people with disabilities, and maybe I’ll feel less guilty.

It feels like I should be giving it a funeral.
CrookedMan CrookedMan
46-50
May 13, 2012