I played hookey today. Well, not really. I’m taking a legitimate day off, using sick leave, for a mental health day. The weather is glorious and I wanted to be out so I decided to do a few chores. I wanted to take my coupe out for a spin since he’s been sitting unused for at least a month. His name is Everett.
I love Everett. He just feels really good to drive. You basically “put him on” as opposed to sitting in him. When I pushed his button to start, he hesitated like he’d been sad he’d been left alone for so long. I could relate. But, trusty car that he’s always been, he came to life and off we went to the store. We took the long way to get his juices flowing and to be sure he’d start again.
After running my errands, I noticed Ev needed some gas and a bath. When I opened his gas door, it was clear that he’d decorated for Halloween. Thick spider webs had taken up residence by the gas cap. I thought, “Poor Ev.” I paid for the car wash.
Once rinsed clean, I decided we’d go for a spin to dry off. I live in a rural town that’s considered the big city around here, so there’s plenty of farmland around us. Ev and I started driving with no destination. We just took whatever roads seem to feel best; the smaller the better.
Everett didn’t disappoint. He was awake and ready to go. His smooth steering and healthy acceleration took us deep into country roads with a confident glide. We raced through the falling leaves and looked on fields of amber and gold. We found our way past a dome home and sparkling lakes. We rarely saw another car for the hour or more we drove around Maryland and Pennsylvania and when we did, it was usually a massive 70’s car oddly enough. With no one to follow, or following me, we could go at our pace (usually much faster than the posted speed) and make split decisions to pop down the road less traveled, especially if it was squiggly and looked interesting.
Being that Ev is 12 years old, he doesn’t have the most fancy infotainment system, but he does have a CD player and Bose speakers. And I have a favorite techno cd with 57 tracks. Enough for us to enjoy a banking curve to some thumping background.
I finally felt like my old boney self again. I felt free and happy and grateful to be with Everett, wandering wherever the road took us. Reminded me of an Alanis Morrisette song called “Giggling Again For No Reason”, wherein she sings about dipping out and taking a drive just to see the sunset. Instead of a seaside sunset, I was looking at the burgundy, yellow, orange, green, brown and red leaves against the brilliant blue sky and buttery sunshine. Sigh… felt so good.
I’d followed those lovely roads well up into PA and then remembered that one of my chores was to pick up some meat from the store. I had the windows down and the wind blowing through the car, so I knew it wasn’t too hot, but I did have to start looking for roads that led south again. I didn’t want to.
Without the fancy navigation of my new car, Ev and I found our way back to familiar territory and headed home. The closer I got, the sadder I felt. We’d made the decision to sell Everett, since he’s in wonderful shape and has low mileage. The new car I bought is more practical for driving to Pittsburgh and hauling smaller children and “schtuff” around. She’s a great car and is peppy in her own right, but she’s not Everett. She floats a curve while Everett hugs it. She has a bit of wobble while Everett feels glued to the road.
Just like selling the big house because it made sense, I know selling Everett is the logical thing to do. That doesn’t mean my heart is into it. At. All.