Thursday, March 6, 2008

10,000 Miles

Just about one year ago I finally replaced my first car. A reluctant driver, I waited to commit to car ownership until I was 27, with the plan to buy a reliable, used car of the Toyota Corolla variety with under 50,000 miles. Geo made Prizms with a Corolla engine and a Chevy body for less moola. And in really unique colors.

I and others described the hue of my auto variously as "scarab beetle," "emerald," and "Sprite bottle" green. A conspicuous color, my car and I were often spotted by students driving by on the freeway. Friends would ask me what I was doing at this-and-such store or place after spotting my Geo in the parking lot, and there were awesome "Car Twin" moments on the road when I would find another kindred soul willing to drive a crazy-colored vehicle: Peace, brother! Sweet Wheels! friends give me crap about my car, too...

I even wrote a poem to my car when my creative writing class was working on odes:

Ode to Geo Prizm

Unlike the white “L” series model
with a cigarette burn on the front passenger seat,
You had no flaws
except your color,
which gleamed in the sun like a Japanese beetle
unwittingly caught on the surface of a swimming pool
in a Southern California suburban backyard.
I tried Mazda Proteges, even a four-door cherry red
Toyota Tercel souped up by a sailor and for sale for more
than I could afford.
So I came back to you,
abandoned on the lot
among earth-tones and unoffensive metallics,
an emerald in an agate setting.
Even your mileage was right.
I drove you home that day and now you
and your creative color
are part of me.

P.S. I am sorry I hurt you that one day pulling out of the driveway…

I really loved my car. I hung on to it against the urgings of my brothers to buy something better, cooler. But last year, I finally determined that my little Geo was not the safest ride for my kiddoes, and it might be nice to have some airbags, some automatic windows, even. I sold my car to the daughter of a friend, who lives near another friend, who sees my car parked outside her house often enough to tell me that it appears to be doing very well in its new home.

And now it's time for the 10,000 mile service for my one-year-old, red 2007 Honda Civic. Alas, it has no cassette player, so I've had to give up the mixed tapes from the 80s which comprised my soundtrack in Green Geo. And it's harder to find my new car in the parking lot, where it's just another Honda sedan in the sea of SUVs.

I feel a little like I went back to natural hair color after dying mine purple all these years. I miss you Green Geo...

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