Farewell to an Old Friend

Well, I had a bit of excitement tonight! I was on the way home from my company‘s annual Christmas party, trying to turn left out of a small access road onto a state route, and was promptly hit at high speed by a woman who was driving without her lights on. In the dark. While it was raining.

Her excuse, after she clipped the entire front of my poor little car clean off, and narrowly missed hitting the driver’s side door (and me with it)? “You should have seen me coming! It’s a big car.”

Um, OK.

Anyway, both she and I walked away from the accident, which is what matters, but my poor little car appears to be history. I bought it waaaay back in 1997, right after I graduated from college, as a graduation present for myself — marched into a Ford dealership and put down the stunningly huge (to me!) sum of $1,000 on a brand new black 1998 Ford Escort ZX2. Man, how I loved that car! When it got its first dent six months later, I actually cried. How pathetic is that? But it was my first car — the only car I’d ever owned. It was new and shiny and mine, and I loved it to death.

As the years went by, it served me well — far better than you’d expect from an Escort, that’s for sure. It had just had its 60,000 mile service this Monday; I paid it off more than a year ago, and I was looking forward to getting lots more miles out of it before I moved on. Well, tonight it looks like that’s not going to happen. A lot has happened in my life since the day I drove that Escort off the lot; I’ve had joy and pain, happiness and loss, dealt with crises innumerable and grown into some type of a man, rather than just a boy playing at manhood. And I know, deep down, that it’s just a car. But I can’t stop feeling like I left a little piece of myself back on that slick Virginia road tonight; and I guess that, in a way, maybe I did.

(Contributions to the Jason Needs a New Car Fund will be gratefully accepted… heh)