Monday, October 19, 2009

Dear Honda Civic,

I'll miss you. You were there for me when I needed a lift, both physically and metaphorically. You came into my life when it had hit a teeth-jarring pothole and trusted me to be in the driver's seat. I remember the first day I had you, glad I wasn't taking the bus anymore in a city not conducive to public transportation. It had taken me two hours and two bus transfers to get to the dealership. The last four blocks of that I'd listened to a delusional woman tell me how Stephen Spielberg had raped her. I practically ran out at my stop, and there you were waiting for me, ready to offer me solitude with a 360 degree view.

At the time you picked me up, everything was falling apart around me. You made sure that I continued to go forward and kept my eyes on the road. You drove me and my two cats from Los Angeles to Baltimore, crossing mountains, vast deserts, endless flat terrain, grassy rolling hills and wooded forests that birthed us into into giant canyons. You rolled with me into quiet towns and gasped with me at the F-15 fighter that flew across the interstate at almost eye-level just hundreds feet in front of us. You idled stealthily to keep the cats cool in the desert heat because I just had to go see that huge-ass meteor crater in Arizona. Only you and I knew that I'd left one door unlocked because I had only one key. You drove 2850 miles of interstate and held your own against 18-wheelers and Smokey the Bear. Once in Baltimore, you withstood your very first winter like you were born for it, including the record-breaking snowfall that buried you completely and left you stranded for a week. You endured torrential rains, drove like a ship through flood water up to your mirrors and weathered a hurricane that pushed a tree onto you. You merely brushed yourself off and kept on going. It was an example for me on the days where I felt I just couldn't start.

You welcomed in so many souls whom I'm glad that I met and still know. You protected me from those who should stay out. You kept me warm and dry, cooled me off, offered me solace in times where I needed it.

And once I was ready, after my stepdad made sure you were up to the job, you drove me and my cats back to Los Angeles, except this time we had another passenger. My dad, whom we picked up in Asheville. You got to know him, and he you. You let him drive and me sleep, and vice versa and were always ready to go when we were. You got us there in one piece, which included a fierce windstorm in the desert. Again, you were an example of when the going gets tough, the tough keep going, tumbleweeds be damned.

You were a fantastic, wonderful little car. You spent some of the most difficult, poignant times of my life with me and carried me right through to the much better place that I am now.

It was hard for me to say goodbye today. But, I know you understand. And, that you knew I was ready.

Thanks for the memories, my 1997 Honda Civic. I'll never, ever forget you.