Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tears On My Pillow

A little piece of me died last night.

The new owner of my first car came and took my freedom away. From here on out Brooke and I will be sharing a car. I know this is the best thing financially and environmentally. It will probably even improve my quality of life. Over the past few months I could feel myself becoming an aggressive Boston driver. I was the inconsiderate, opportunistic driver you cursed at. There will be less of that now I've traded my car in for a bus pass.

I've always lived simply. Never attached to possessions. But my 2005 Corolla CE was more of a memory box. I've spent so much of the past 3 years in it. Like that time when Brooke flew out to Michigan to meet me for the second time ever and then drive to Vermont with me. And remember that time a rock punctured the AC condenser the morning before my sister, brother-in-law and Brooke drove to North Carolina in the sweltering summer heat? And each time I moved, from Michigan to Vermont and Vermont to Boston, it told me what to keep and what to give away: if it didn't fit in the Corolla it stayed.

And the worst part is my betrayal. The car was kind of like my "Giving Tree". Two months before I quit my job to freelance I was hit from behind in a minor accident that was just severe enough to warrant a $1200 cosmetic repair. I kept the money and turned it into a camera. As my car suffered, I profited. As the Corolla did so much for me I would openly talk about how I dreamed of one day not owning a car. I would say these things as the car labored for over 78,000 miles with no complaints. No repairs. And now that I've had my way with it I let some stranger come and drive off with it. Now that it's all over it doesn't feel like I thought it would.

I have nothing else to say . . . I'm sorry.


Blogger Megan said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

4:14 PM  
Blogger yoon said...

Sad story...

BUT, welcome to freedom :)

11:35 PM  
Blogger travellerb said...

I feel your pain, brother. I went 4 years carless in Chi-town and it was so very the right thing to do.

But I still, to this day, miss that sweet little 1985 Honda Civic who gave so much and asked so little.


buford (with penelope riding shotgun on the blogging tonight)

11:37 PM  
Anonymous treehugger said...

Me too I'm sharing car with my wife. I remember in San Diego everybody had a car. There was no underground and the bus was used by poor people exclusively.
People like you are adding glamour to public transportation so hopefully more people will use it making it better.
Maybe Boston has already a good public transportation net.

In any case, thanks for burning less CO2.

7:08 AM  
Blogger Myndi said...

I feel your pain, especially since we have (had) matching cars. It's why I made Charlie get rid of his. I just wasn't ready to say goodbye to the trusty Corolla. Welcome to the world of sharing a car. Luckily Brooke's car is quite cool and perfect for parking in those tight Boston spaces. And hey, maybe she can resurrect the Kasual license plate. That would have to make you feel better. RIP Corolla, RIP.

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Owning a car is about making life easier -or not. If owning a car that you don't have to share is not an enhancement to your life.. then enjoy not having one... the environment will survive either way. Pick and choose what makes your day to day life easier to navigate. (Navigate being more than getting from point A to point Z.

12:28 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I, too, had to leave behind my beloved Corolla when we moved to Mexico City. I even had the car shipped to me from Texas so that it could help me through my first real winter in Michigan.

But I have to say you are doing the right thing. I realized that after a walk to the grocery store. I noticed all these little details along the way that I would have never noticed had I sped right past it in my car. I love not having a car now!!! I bet you'll have lots more to photograph now.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Samira said...

Aww, I remember your Corolla in Michigan. You drove me back to work in it after my Matrix was shipped to Albany.

Even though I still have my first car, I use the bus. It is by far the best thing I ever did in terms of transportation. Especially in Houston -- city of crazy drivers!

2:09 AM  
Blogger Geoff Hansen said...

Channing, your Corolla taught that teenager to slow down in Vermont's wintry mix.

This winter, my slowly aging Mazda doesn't want to start when it gets below zero. Argh.

You're definitely in the right place to go car-free. I rode my bike to work last year and it took me three hours...

7:18 AM  
Blogger Melvin said...

Amazing post....
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4:17 AM  

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