February 1, 2005

Things retrieved from a car wreck.

Nine days ago, I wrecked my car. I was physically and mentally together enough to retrieve some things from my car -- my handbag, the hang tag for parking on campus, the registration and insurance materials. But there were still some things left. Yesterday, we went over to the towing company's car lot and had a chance to empty out the car. A man who worked there helped me eject the cartridge from the CD player, and I was glad to find a shopping bag -- from Soulman -- in the trunk to stuff all the various items in. Today, I dumped all these things on my living room floor:

There's the gold flower that was in the vase by the steering wheel and landed on the car's floor after the crash. Dumped out of the Soulman bag, it lands on top of the image of an autumn leaf on the cover of the atlas, where it looks so fallen, so over. Simultaneously, a man comes to the door to deliver a bouquet of flowers. It's from the man who sold me the new car, the car I must transfer my love to. Do I feel a new thrill with my new love, Silvio? Ah, I'm still a bit shaken from the accident. I bought Li'l Greenie to replace a boring old car (a Honda Civic), and I felt such a happy thrill as soon as I started driving him around. People would smile at the cute fun car. It was July, and I drove with the windows down and the moon roof open, and played music that went with the car: the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Kinks, even Herman's Hermits.

My new car is so much more adult. But it's a sports car! It should be a big thrill. I'll tell you something about a sports car, something I didn't really understand before. It does not give you an exciting sensation of speed. What it gives you is a feeling of solid ordinariness at a high speed. Seventy feels like thirty-five. Silvio gives me security, along with a sense that now I -- and not just those other people -- have a luxury car. So, quite the opposite from the feeling I got from Li'l Greenie, Silvio gives a feeling of privileged adulthood, serious maturity. But perhaps it's too soon after the accident to feel overwhelmed with thrills and fun. We need to go on a long honeymoon together, Silvio and I.

I pick up the atlas from the living room floor and look for some routes out into the beautiful landscapes of the west.

No comments: