An elegy:

Today is a day of mourning. Today is the end of something. An era, a lifetime, my childhood. I don't know.

Today my car is dead.

Okay, all the melodrama aside today was the day of decision. Its been dead for a while, sitting in its vegetable state in the lot of the auto shop. Waiting.

What does a dead car wait for? It waits for you to make a decision. It waits for you to admit that you really can't afford that $800. It waits for you to give up hope in it. It waits for you to reject its plea for help, its ploy for attention. I have turned my back on the drowning man.

So what does a car matter so much? I hardly even used it when it was around. It wasn't for lack of appreciation though, it was a difference in lifestyle. The car took me to my parent's house, and brought me home again. This was a vital function. It held an important place in my daily life. The honored position of transport.

But much, much more importantly, this car had a title, and a history:

The year was 1986. A young couple, Judy and Bob Soule had just recently completed the third addition to their burgeoning young family: Erica, who would remain the youngest member of the family. After the completion of their second addition, Bethany, five years before, the couple had moved their clan into a larger house, leaving plenty of living space for Erica upon her arrival. This was one child of the 80's who would not be raised in a dresser drawer.

What the couple did not have was an adequate vehicle for transporting their family; their banana yellow subaru station wagon didn't even have a 5th seatbelt. They knew that to be able to roadtrip and grocery shop comfortably, they would need to plan on the contingency of the entire family needing to be in the vehicle at once. And so they began looking at vans to purchase.

A number of minivan and conversion van type options were considered. Among those manufactories that the couple considered doing their business with was the german car company, Volkswagon. They were pretty loyal to Volkswagon, having owned a camper bus (known as Abby) and a number of different Beetles in the past, as they were ass cheap cars, which was all they could afford. They eventually settled on a dark blue '87 Volkswagon Vanagon, with a silver strip around the middle.

now I'll let you all in on a little secret: those were my parents. It was not the first new car they had bought, but it was the first nice one; it had power steering, air conditioning, and the back folded down into a bed. When they bought that van I was 5 years old. I could easily walk around in it, I'm not even sure I could touch the ceiling when standing on the floor. And I was pissed that this was the van my parents had picked because I couldn't see out the windows.

I grew up in that car, and I am a sentimental person. We went camping at least once a year. I think we drove across the country in it once for every year it was alive. If not more. This is a car you could live out of. This was a car that you love. Passionately.

I practically lost my virginity in that car (it had curtains: my mother made them. I took them too when I had to clean all my things out of it). I taught at least 4 people how to drive a stick in that car. I took my first (non-familial) road trips in that car. I have slept, eaten, read, cried in that car. That car has moved me 5 times.

And now it is sitting in an auto lot in Lansing. I hope its not too lonely.


the Big Blue Wet Thing