Just consigned two cars I had a relationship with to death.
I’m not as upset as when they dumped the ’56 Chevy for the ’64 Chevelle, but I’m not good.
I got given the ’93 Caravan after my Taurus was trashed. I was so happy to get a Taurus after the Subarus I had been driving; they were too small. This was my second Taurus, after my tranny expired on a trip to Holly & Terry and such. It was nice and quality, from a car-proud guy.
The Caravan had been my brother’s family car. But things fell apart in 2004, and the registration expired, and, and, and. It sat in the driveway here, after I had to use it to move fast.
I started driving my parents purple ’95 Intrepid. It was a big saloon with big tires, and I had gotten into scrapes with it before. It was big enough that I fit, easy. But it’s an American car, and there were issues; a rusted oil pan, an overtorqued tyre that was wheel-destroying man-ass hell, a broken light patched together after I had to drive sick to help my sister.
My sister’s car got funky in the summer. I had to find the solution and find a fix; ’98 Subarus had head gasket leaks into the exhaust. I finally took it to Pittsfield to get fixed.
By then, though, my father had planned to buy a new Subaru and give my sister his 2002. I had to manage that process of shopping, too.
And I was told I would have to give up the purple car, with about 100,000 miles on it and take my sister’s car with 200,000 miles on it.
I needed help to get through the anxiety, but my sister was busy, busy, busy. Now, though, with winter here, and inspection up on the purple, something had to happen.
My sister called the places I gave her while I clung to the top of a ladder, a second and successful attempt to relamp her security floodlights, a job she and her boyfriend found too challenging to do, but knew is required to illuminate coming snow shoveling.
I spent the morning dressing the cars for death, getting them ready for internment. Both ran, both worked, both had to die.
She came over and cut a deal, though I suspect it was just accepting the first offer.
Then she took me over to pick up her car, the ’93 Subaru. It smells like dogs and ducks have died in this car, and they have. They had her dog Bukka euthanized in the back, and her kayak gear has been full of the sludge of decaying river mud.
I had to take my father’s car to get the windscreen replaced before giving it to her. In 5 or 6 months, she never got to fixing hers, even though I offered to help.
The carpets are melted and mucky, and she never took the time to clean it out, let alone vacuum. It stinks. I had to pump the tyre and collect the junk left in there, from stones to pop bottle.s
I don’t fit in the car. My left arm needs to be cut off to fit, unless I play small. And no matter how small I play, the car still makes me look big in contrast, far from what I want as a woman.
When I drive it it makes going 40 miles an hour feel fast, because it handles so comparatively poorly on those tiny tires.
I get emotionally upset (is there any other kind?) and act out some, and I know people just think it’s my distress over loss. Well, yes, sure, the emotions are actually real, whatever this family thinks or expects me to swallow, but then again, so are the problems.
Still the driver’s side window goes down — my brothers family broke the Intrepid, and made it worse with a half-assed repair — the A/C works (the reason the Intrepid was abandoned by my mother) as does the radio. It will pass inspection.
I understand that beggars cannot be choosers, and I need to be grateful for whatever I have. I get the fact that over time I will shrink to fit; my expectations will be diminished and I will tolerate the car better.
My sister just didn’t have the time and energy to make this car nice for me, the way I worked to make my father’s old car nice for her, cleaning and cleaning. She didn’t even have the time and energy to look for both sets of keys. Now I have to clean it in the winter, when no one can clean a car properly. It’s the same as when she wanted to help make the transfer easy, and then required me to do all the legwork and many of the details.
But my friends were thrown out, and my needs were ignored again, and that don’t feel so good right now. Especially after the three hours I would have had the house to myself were denied me to help my mother go to a creepy, canned, production of Plaid Tidings. They have already said they are denying me my winter break by not going south, so things add up, add up, add up. My teeth are way bad, making my sleep way bad, and things just suck.
I know how to swallow anxiety.
I just don’t know how to digest anxiety.
And that means it comes back sometime.
April 24, 2007
I have more to swallow, more to swallow, more to swallow.