Wednesday, November 25, 2015

it was like a second skin

Robert's cousin, Rachel, just got her learner's permit and was eager to drive any car any time during her recent visit.  So after breakfast, she asked if she could drive home.  I hesitated only briefly, because it was my car, and any time someone asks to drive my car I hear my grandfather's voice telling me to let no one, except family, drive my car.  

The car my grandfather's voice speaks of is my first car, a beloved silver Toyota Matrix that was rear-ended and totaled a couple years ago.  It was a special car because my dad and I saw it in town one day and did everything but drool over it.  It was a special because my grandparents, mom and I all made the journey to the big city and picked it out.  Later, when I made my first payment to my grandparents they told me I could have it in exchange for a college degree.  It was special because it was my dream car, my first car and it was like a second skin for all the years I owned it. 

No one has ever given me any warnings or parameters concerning my current car, however, so I've had to use my own discretion, which may or may not be the wisest discretion to rely on.  

Just a few months ago a member of one of my writing groups came into the library and asked if she could use my car for just a little bit.  Because she had been Robert's high school English teacher and also the rescuer of a very neglected German shepherd, and maybe because she asked me if she could borrow my car the same way she would have asked to borrow a pen I said sure.  She took my car to her house, grabbed her spare keys for her car, which she had locked herself out of, and was back to the library in less than 15 minutes.  

So when Rachel asked to drive home after breakfast, my mouth said sure, but the whole time she was driving my mind kept repeating, my poor turd car my poor turd car.  Apparently Robert's poop jokes about my root beer-colored car have really settled deeply in my brain.  

Rachel did a great job driving, leaving all passengers and the car itself unscathed.  I will probably hand my keys over to the next person who asks to drive it, but only because it's not The First Car.

My matrix, like my grandfather's voice, is a larger-than-life memory that continues to live in me.  

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