I try very hard not to be one of those people who wishes his or her life away, but today was one of those days I had circled on my calendar with a thick, thick marker and, then, for weeks silently bemoaned at how far away it seemed.
First, for a moment, let me drop all the tongue-in-cheek pretense about “the blonde” and “my mistress.” The damage done to my automobile was difficult for me to accept, made many orders of magnitude worse by its timing, as I was forced to sit by and watch most of the summer drain away under deep blue skies. The season for a highly impractical, vanity convertible, like many other things, is very short here in Vermont and each warm, cloudless day and evening is precious.
I know it’s just a car. But it is my one indulgence, and a source of joy, relaxation and pride in a life woefully short of those kinds of moments. The loss of its use, if only for six or seven weeks, left me feeling confined and distracted. And in a state of denial, as well. I kept the car under a cover — a cover that had previously served to keep it clean and unblemished now kept the offending damage out of sight, if not entirely out-of-mind.
Today, at last, was the day I brought the car to the body shop — whose motto, by the way, is “like it never happened.”
They had better damn well mean it.
They told me it will be ready next Tuesday, September 18 — a day that has earned its own thick circle on the calendar.
When the car was damaged, a friend sent me a sympathy card, and suggested that, like Abraham being called upon to “let go” of his beloved son Isaac, perhaps I would only truly enjoy the car if I was able to “let go” of it as well.
He has a point. Much of my pride in the car arose from silly little things like using it sparingly, never driving it in the rain, obsessing over its condition and cleanliness, and bragging about how few miles I put on it each season.
The damage, though soon repaired, is a reminder not to put her — or “it” — or anything else on a pedestal and to stop hoarding or rationing the things in life that give myself and others pure joy.
I miss her already.