Wednesday, August 30, 2006

From Another Life

I have never been that fond of what I drive, and the most mechanical things I can do are change a tire or headlight, put in oil and wax my vehicle. However, since I tend to hold on to a vehicle for quite a long time, I can get oddly sentimental about them. Thirteen years ago, I bought this one -- what was at that time, soft top 1993 Jeep Wrangler. I hauled it over ice in New Mexico, through the Mojave Desert and into San Francisco three years later.

When I sold it for a more practical sedan, I said goodbye with mixed feelings -- not sad to be rid of bumpy, windy hot rides on the freeways but missing the rare times I actually took the top down. A couple of months after I traded it in, I discovered it parked on the street only two blocks from home. I recognized the parking sticker from when I parked it at the 5th and Mission Garage. The new owners have given it a hard top and seem to have taken generally good care of it.

So it is interestingly disconcerting to pass it from time to time as I venture over to dinner spots on Valencia -- a reminder of a time past and making me curious about what adventures it has been on since it was mine.

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At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi gregg... so this is "blogging" eh? Blogging and blog are used as common english in magazines and newspapers like the "New York Times" but the concept and language still seem foreign to me. By the way, what is 'to blog' in Spanish?

I wanted to comment on this picture and discussion because it came the closest to touching aspects of my life. I traded in my beautiful, bright blue 1989 camaro just a month ago - it had come to the end of its useful life, and I had to move on. It was very hard to let it go - it was a symbolic and strange constant through the past 16 - 17 years. My life has taken some incredible, wonderful twists and turns during those years - yet the camaro was always there when I returned...or like your car, it accompanied me during some of those adventures. It was symbolic because it was part of my identity, and a part that many did not expect or anticipate. It had meaning at times (freedom, youth, invincibility, speed) and no meaning at all (simply a pretty vehicle). I didn't need it to define me, but it did so nonetheless.

After a month of research and reflection, I own a vehicle more practical for where I am right now in my life. After 17 years, my inattention to my image is what defines me. Whatever that means.

At 10:50 AM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

Hi, "anon" --

I sort of dislike "blog" as a verb, but it's a part of 21st Century reality.

My "marriage" to the Jeep was actually fairly brief, five years, and I've now had my practical Saturn nearly a decade and am contemplating trading it in sometime during the next year. It's paid for, has no mechanical problems and about 80,000 miles on it. Not bad for a car that age, and I have to admit that there will be an emotional pull of telling it goodbye -- not so much to say farewell to the car but to the times and people it is connected to that will never come back.

The good news, as evidinced by the Jeep seeming to have a happy life just a few blocks from me, as that cars can find an afterlife on this earth once we tell them goodbye.


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