this is called 'my car'

it’s my dad’s car. it’s not my car, i drive it and i buy the gas and i leave the seat all the way up so my legs can reach the gas pedals but it’s not my car. it’s my dad’s car.

my car, boxy and silver and tougher than a tank. i climbed in and out of it because my legs were too short to just step in. the dashboard was black leather and shiny chrome even after eight years.

i hated this car when we first got it. i liked the old car, the old green montero with the tire on the back, i thought that was so cool. i hated this car, i hated riding in it. i called it ‘the jeep’ when the old car had been ‘the truck’. i rejected it like i reject most new things at first. i hated this car.

my car. my name’s not on the registration but this is my car. this is my seat and this is my stereo. this is the time i almost drove off the road trying to change the cd because i thought it was scratched and i started crying. this is my car and this is the time i sat in the driver’s seat drinking a monster because i didn’t want to go to orchestra practice. this is the car that drove me and my sister to the martial arts test we both failed. this is the car we took to the graveyard afterwards to walk around, to pause and not to think.

this is my car. this is the car i took on every back road, every rural highway behind boyne city, the bass loud enough that i could feel it in my chest. this is the car i took driving with my eyes closed down camp daggett road in the burning heat of summer. i kept the windows closed because the sound couldn’t escape that way. i wanted to keep all the sound waves with me as i cooked in the eighty degree sun, no air conditioning. maybe i screamed. i don’t remember.

this car. in the summer before i left for college i took my car out after work, every day, for an hour or so. just driving, just listening to the stereo and driving, going too fast on the back roads in the baking sun. i would tell my parents i got out of work late and just drive. it’s different in my car. the world doesn’t exist when i’m in my car. a tank, an impossible, impenetrable car where i was invincible. the bass was too loud for me to die.

my car. i left for school and in leaving my car i left my sanctuary. in leaving my car i left the only place i was alone. in leaving my car eventually all the things i used my car to get away from got to me. the restlessness settled into my bones and i ached for my car.

last winter my car became my brother’s car. i don’t think he understood my car but that’s okay. it could be his car, too. it was time for my car to become his car.

last winter my mom was teaching my brother to drive on ice and she told him to hit the brakes. my car spun out, my car hit a tree. my car did its job and protected my mom, my brother. they ended up okay, but not my car. my impenetrable car got smashed up, my invincibility lost. my car ended up at the collision place, my car got bought by another family for scrap.

it’s not my car anymore.

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