In Memoriam: An Autobituary
Lately, I’ve been really missing my old car. I used to cruise country roads in my Saturn on summer nights like this one. Now, I can only wonder where all the parts are… is someone driving around with my driver’s side door? My steering column? What roads do they drive? Do they appreciate the bits and pieces of that little Saturn Coupe as much as I adored the whole?
Just after the fender bender that ended my Saturn’s tenure, I wrote this autobituary in honor of my first wheels.
After nearly nine years of faithful service, my Saturn has gone on to the realms of the great junkyard in the sky. A friend to many, she will be missed. She was preceded in death by her power locks (2001-2005), her sunroof (2001-2006), and the ability to keep her passenger side sun visor in place without the aid of duct tape (2001-2007).
I think it would be appropriate if I took a moment to reflect on the good times I had with her:
1. I will never forget the many bumper stickers she knew. The first was a star flower sticker I purchased in South Padre, which my mom disapproved of because she said it looked like “a marijuana pot leaf or something.” I, too, eventually grew weary of this flower, but the decal was permabonded on a molecular level to her bumper and it was impossible to remove. I was able to remove her “Pride of Broken Arrow” sticker in college, but there was always a dirt outline where it was, a faint reminder of her early days. In 2004, she got to wear political stickers for a few months just before I got to vote in my very first presidential election. Lastly, in 2006, the classic “Ban Comic Sans” sticker was added.
2. In college, my friend Anna and I took a little road trip in this car. We went to a concert in Texas and also happened upon the world’s largest shoe.
3. One time on Valentine’s day, I was walking towards my car after class and noticed a piece of pink paper was tucked under my windshield wiper. Excited at the prospect of a love note, I practically skipped to the car on clouds. To my dismay, it was the pink layer of a carbon copy of a Valentine’s Day parking ticket. I felt kinda like this:
4. My dad taught me to change a flat on the Saturn, a life skill I’m glad to have in my back pocket.
5. “Pachuca Sunrise” by Minus the Bear was the most incredible sounding song on those speakers. Something about hearing that song on those particular stock speakers was downright acoustically magical.
6. Once, I ran over a snake on Ben Lumpkin Road. I screamed for about 500 seconds right after it happened. I felt horrible for murdering something, but at least it was a snake, I guess. Yeah, I know, without snakes, the ecosystem would get all effed up and stuff, but I STILL HATE THEM, OKAY? Okay.
7. Pal Jamie and I drove up and down Oklahoma City’s Northwest Expressway in this car while playing Justin Timberlake’s entire FutureSexLoveSounds album on recorders. Yes, recorders, like from elementary school.
(I may or may not have played a song using only my right nostril and a complete lack of dignity.)
8. Backing into a dumpster or six.
9. Driving all around Broken Arrow in an effort to find the elusive Rooster Days egg.
10. My cones lived in the trunk.
She served me well. I miss her.