It’s just a car, it has no feelings. It’s just a car, it has no feelings.
Esmeralda, my 95 Ford Escort, was given to me for free by an elderly woman who absolutely adored me.
She barely drove it, and when she did, she managed to ding in a few whiskey dents that added character and charm. It was love at first sight.
As a reminder to never under-appreciate her gift, I kept the keychain that came with the car. A small keychain that shown a picture of a bank in Rhode Island (she was from Rhode Island).
“For as long as I have this car, I will have this keychain. Thank you Lorraine.”
I’m insanely superstitious. Well, it’s not exactly superstition I have. I don’t exactly know what I have to be honest. But I get these sensations, you see. Almost like premonitions. I’m not bullshitting you here, or trying to make myself sound special – I swear! But I get these….I don’t know, premonitions. They come out of nowhere.
For example; many years ago two of my best closest friends bought me a bonsai tree for my birthday. As soon as I seen it, I got a premonition that when that plant dies, so will our friendship.
I didn’t want to believe it, thought it was ridiculous, and as my way of showing how ridiculous it was, I purposely neglected the plant. I left it in the care of the spa I worked at. Out of site, out of mind.
Years go by and the plant stayed perfectly alive and healthy. And I swear to you (again, total no-bullshit here), to the very day it died, guess what? So did the friendships. To the very day!
“What the fuck. No fucking way. No no no.” I said this as I held the discarded plant in my hands. It died before I knew it was dying. It died while I wasn’t there. Someone seen it had died, removed it from the massage room, and left it near or in the sink in the back room where we do laundry.
Why didn’t they just throw it away? And why, after weeks and months of not working there, did I agree to take a client on that particular day? A day when my dead plant was there?
As soon as Lorraine handed me the keys to Esmeralda, I felt in my guts that the car will last as long as the keychain.
A few weeks ago the keychain broke off.
“No big deal, I’ll fix it.”
Then I lost the keychain entirely. I searched everywhere. A few days later, a deer ran into the side of ol’ Essie. A week or two after that, my alternator stopped working and I nearly stopped dead in my tracks on a bridge on a major highway.
“No no no, please don’t stop now. Please?”
By the grace of god, or the spirit of the car, the alternator kicked on and I made it safely home.
Then I get a major sinus infection that wouldn’t go away, I didn’t want it to go away. I was too depressed to want it to go away. I was depressed over my stupid plant dying (even though it was years ago), depressed for losing the keychain, depressed for having to give massages all day everyday – everything. I was depressed about everything. I was being hit from all sides – no matter how outlandish or insane those sides were, they hit me hard.
I replaced the battery and drove Esmeralda to work, not knowing it was the alternator. Long story long, I ended up having to tow her (not her, it. IT, Melanie).
It happened when my dad was following behind me to drop Esmeralda off at his friends garage.
When the tow truck driver tilted the front end to get her up on the truck, all the gas that I just put in her, fell out. It fell from her guts in nauseating splashes.
Me – “Oh noooo.”
I said with a pouty face.
Dad – “How did you ever drive like that? How long did you have that leak?”
Me – “Um…not long.”
It’s been three years.
I couldn’t get rid of the car. It meant too much to me to even fathom getting rid of it. It was given to me by a woman who is now dead. It was given to me at a time in my life when I felt utterly hopeless.
The car ride home with my dad was the worst.
Dad – “You need to buy yourself a new car. It’s not worth fixing.”
Me – “What if someone says that about me?”
I heard myself and scowled. A car is not a person. It’s a thing. It has no feelings.
Over and over my dad would repeat himself, “It’s time to bite the bullet and find a new one.”
Me – “No way. It’s a waste of money. And this is the first time she gave me trouble.”
And on and on it went for the entire ride home. I got angry at him and I never get angry.
My dad was annoying me, so his flaws were more pronounced. Like, “why does it sound like he’s talking with a numb tongue? Do old people not feel their tongues anymore? Oh no, my dad is getting old. He sounds old. I love him so much. I love my car so much.”
Today after coming home from work, dad gave me the sad sad news.
Alternator is broke
Brake lines are rusted
Shocks are shot
Needs new gas tank
New gas pump
on and on he went.
Me – “I’ll fix it. I’ll do what needs to be done. It’s cheaper to fix it than to buy another clunker.”
I was in denial. Just as I was in denial while watching Esmeralda getting towed. The tow truck’s flashing lights reminded me of a dance club, so I played Lady Gaga’s Just Dance on my iPhone and started dancing.
Dad – “Why are you happy? Your car is being towed.”
Me – “I’ll fix it no problem. Just dance. Doopy doodie just dance. Dance, da da da da, dance.”
I abide by logic and reason, and right now it’s starting to feel more logical to get a new car. I just can’t believe it happened after losing the keychain. I didn’t fix it in time. Just like I didn’t fix the plant in time.
“That’s the opposite of logic and reason.”
But my premonitions always come true. You know that.
“Yeah, that is weird. I can’t deny it. But it’s not logical.”
So what is?
Nothing makes sense to me anymore.