A year ago, I felt like I was going to loose my mind. Not in a "I'm really busy and I am having a hard time holding onto all the seemingly millions of loose ends that keep trying to get away from me," way; a mindset with which I am very well acquainted. No, in a real honest to goodness, I think I am going to have a breakdown, kind of way. I had never experienced anything like it, and hope to never again. The shit was hitting the fan in so many different parts of my life at the same time, and I felt like my mind was going to just slip away. My mind seemed slightly out of sync with my body, like my mind had phase shifted into a slightly different space-time.
My life has radically changed since last year, and I have felt so many instances of loss and rebirth, significant deep loss, as well as superficial. I feel that my life and to some extent my belongings, are not recognizable from a year ago. It has been disconcerting and thrilling to have ones life change so drastically in a short period of a time. This last year entailed my grandfather dying; my dissertation being rejected and then accepted both in a very dramatic fashion; my personal life going to hell in a handbasket, but then after that, beginning a relationship with the most wonderful man I have ever met; graduating and trying to figure out what is the next step in my career; needing to buy several instruments because the instruments I had access to were no longer available; my computer dying, etc, etc, etc. Things have settled down a bit in the last couple of months, but then today, I realize my car is dying.
My car, the only car that I have ever owned. I purchased this car in 2004 from my father who sells vehicles when he received in his lot what has turned out to be a gem of a car. It has been so reliable, it only started to break down this last year. It was with me in Indiana, as I finished up my master's degree; to Michigan, where I lived for three years; and then to Wisconsin, where I have been ever since. I call it Speedy, to help with its self esteem, because it was not actually very speedy. I have several bumper stickers that some people don't seem to enjoy, but I do immensely. There is the "recall Walker" sticker, the "A man of quality is not threatened with a women seeking equality," and "Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it."
My car is scrappy, it looks awful, there is rust in several places, the windshield has been cracked near the bottom for several years, the left headlight sometimes randomly shuts off and I can turn it back on by hitting it really hard, the door take a special skill to open from the inside, the left rear door doesn't unlock automatically, I have had trouble in the past with the hood not wanting to shut, there is a dent in the side where I kicked it when one of my relationships was failing, there is a sticker behind the passenger side visor from a bachorlette party of a friend from 2006.
The repairs just kept piling up, and I said after the last major repair several months ago that I had enough. I was just postponing the inevitable. I really wanted my car to make it to 200,000 miles and last week it did. Then a couple of days ago as I started the car, it made this terrible noise. Similar to when the muffler rusts through or detaches, slightly different, but I didn't want to admit that. So I brought it into the nice folks at the local Car X. I left on my bike and they called me several hours later to tell me it wasn't the muffler, and that to fix everything that needed repair would cost more then the $2000 I spent 9 years ago to buy the car. So I told them to not do the repairs, and I called my dad.
Luckily, my dad still sells cars for a living. In his lot there is a perfect car for my darling and me. With a little bit of financing, it works out, and we go and pick up our car on Thursday. I just hope this car is as awesome as the car it is going to replace. It is a lovely blue, it has great gas mileage, and only has 35,000 miles on it. I won't know what to do with all those miles. Road trip anyone?