I have bad luck with cars. You should all remember this from my escapades with Grani, detailed in Me and My Car. My poor car went through so much those first few months, but even so, he kept going for a year and a half before he finally gave out. Sure, I couldn’t drive him in the summer due to his oven like nature and inability to roll down his windows… or air conditioning… But was a good car and he served me well! I had meant to give him a proper eulogy and everything, but it’s really hard to write one when you don’t know his actual fate. All I really knew was that he wasn’t coming home. I didn’t know if he was sold for scrap or parts or what, so I never got around to it. I still intended to write one… when the next unfortunate tragedy struck. Let me tell you all about it.
Let’s start with Grani, shall we? Because he was my favorite. I loved this car, as you know, more than any vehicle I have ever driven. Even more than my brother’s little red car in which I took my driver’s test. He was my baby and he was perfect. He was built like a tank. I was convinced that he could survive any sort of collision and would often joke about him being able to take other cars. In my mind he was a WWII vet, the kind of man who chose to fight and fight hard, with a few battle scars to prove it. Sure he was old, but he had character and, most importantly, he was my color, much to the amusement of my friends. I’ve been told by several people that they were genuinely impressed by my dedication to the color. They never seem to believe me when I say it was purely coincidental.
Despite his extreme awesomeness everything has an end. Grani’s came in the form of a giant anti-freeze leak that left him unable to function without overheating. The repairs would have cost more than it was worth to pay for a car that wasn’t going to last past the summer. We always knew he wouldn’t see me beyond college and the fact that he lasted as long as he did was truly impressive. He fought well and now it is time for him to rest. I cried when I heard the news, even though I knew it was coming. I couldn’t help it. He was a constant companion and a true friend. I found out in the morning and cried on my way to school. I’m very proud of myself for not blubbering all over my friends when I told them. Grani wouldn’t have wanted me to make a scene.
So the next two weeks were spent searching for a car. I drove Rhodes for the first week and stayed on campus the second week to play HvZ. The following Monday my dad bought a new car and that Tuesday I drove him for the first time. It was much like receiving a new puppy after your old dog has died. You want to like the puppy but you still miss the old dog. I named the new car Talat for the war horse in The Hero and the Crown. He was silvery-tan and reminded me of the little red car that I had liked so much. He had his quirks – what car doesnt?- but he seemed eager to try and I was ready for us to be good friends.
Apparently, I’m not meant to have nice things. Talat was an incredible blessing, for six whole days. Sunday afternoon, as some friends and I were driving home from a lovely day at the park the unthinkable happened. I was attacked from behind. The series of events leading up to this attack, as unintentional as I’m sure it was, are a little confusing. I know the car in front of the car in front of me stopped, then the car in front of me, Isaac and Danielle’s car, stopped, then I stopped. Shortly after that we were shoved forward into the next car up. There was glass all over from the back window and a hissing sound coming from the front of my car and everyone was fine.
There were six of us out for the day and all six of us made it out with minor bruising. I will again state the fact that I have the best boyfriend in the world as he put up with my breakdown following the accident. Everyone came out of it alright, except for Talat. Talat isn’t going to make it. I don’t know if you can imagine what it feels like to be that person who consistently destroys cars shortly after receiving them, but it’s not a good feeling. I kept telling myself that week that I drove Talat that the chances of wrecking him like I wrecked Grani were slim. I’m a better driver now, I won’t make that mistake again, it’ll be alright. It wasn’t alright, but I am. It’s strange how the closure makes things easier. There was no question about if Talat would walk away from this. His trunk was smashed, his back doors were jammed shut and he was leaking something probably vital; there was nothing to be done for him. Somehow that made it easier to accept. It was like with Grani when I was determined that he should live. I could accept the fact that Talat was gone and he was coming back. Still, I grieved his loss. A week is a terribly short time to own a car.
I’m over it now, but this still leaves the search for a new car and a new car name to go with it. It’s highly tempting to leave whatever car we get in the driveway for at least a week after getting it so there is no possible way I can kill it. That is a ridiculous notion, of course, but that tiny superstitious part of me that comes from working in the theater too much is telling me it might safe my next car. My only other theory as to the unfortunate fate of my cars is that the license plate is cursed. We moved the one from Grani over to Talat and I think that may have doomed him from the start. Talat was not quite as b/a as Grani was. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what this next car brings.