Why would I feel emotional when cleaning out my car? I didn’t curl up inside it and bawl my eyes out, mind you, but I did feel a touch of something when removing all of my stuff before I took it out the next day to sell for scrap metal. I needed to do it anyway even if I kept the car. The weirdest thing is that I really have nothing to be nostalgic about. Sure, the car served me well for about thirteen years but I didn’t exactly have a lot of strong memories that took place in it. I had some cool road trips with friends but my memories of those are more about what we did than what car we took. I only had one romantic encounter in that car and only briefly—and for that matter, only technically. I won’t bother with the details. Besides, I think she sometimes reads this blog.
Anyway, cleaning out the car I noticed that I had stronger feelings about certain things that I was cleaning out than others. I had two FM transmitters for iPods that connect to the bottom and just feed off of the iPod batteries they plug into. I had one for a long time and it worked great until one day when it finally died on me. I bought a new one online only to discover that it doesn’t quite fit where it’s supposed to and when I jammed it in it broke my iPod at the time. Even though it technically worked I threw that one away and kept the one that’s broken.
I took out the stuff I had to strap the kayak to the top of the car. I have no place to keep it inside until I get a new car and even then it would more likely work with a luggage rack. I really ought to look into getting one this time. I’m getting tired of paddling around on the same creek all the time. But right now the straps and foam pads and such are sitting on top of my dining room table next to me. They’re in a heap on top of the pirate flag that I also kept in that car in case I went to a hockey game or a pirate metal band. Again, my memories aren’t so much of the car itself than they are of whatever I kept in it.
For that matter the car itself hasn’t been in the best of shape for years. The air conditioning broke a long time ago. There’s been a constant squealing noise coming from the engine as long as I can remember. The undercarriage has rusted to shit, which was ultimately the main reason I sold it for scrap in the first place. When I took the plates off at the salvage place the bolts holding the back plate were so rusted I had to rip it off. I don’t know what kind of headache that’s going to give me in the future but at least I got it off. I also almost forgot the monkey on a spring on the dashboard (that’s right, that’s a picture of my dashboard that’s the cover of the Popkin-Salvador album) and I had to concede to leaving the base stuck there. So now I have a monkey on a spring that I can’t attach to anything.
As I walked down the driveway away from the car that was no longer mine I still had to look back at it a few times. I wanted to wait by the end of the road so my ride could see me. This involved walking along a curved driveway that caused the car to go out of my sight. I felt that slight emotion again. Whatever the problems with the car were I still allowed myself to miss it for a while. I have to say that I’m over it now. It was just a car, after all. But it still strikes me as odd that even though I would prefer electric vehicles dominating traffic now and I’m not obsessed with property I still found myself getting nostalgic over a car, even for a little while.