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When is it time to forget about the past, stop thinking about the future, and live in the now?

August 24, 2009
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That is a question I’ve asked myself many times in my life.  Most recently, I’ve found myself asking that question regarding my very first car.  That’s right, I still have her: a gorgeous 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442.  Few have been as lucky to own a car as great as that, let alone it be their first.  Fewer still have found themselves with that car still in their possession twelve years later.  Looking back, that wasn’t a quick twelve years either.  After high school, I ran off to school, only seeing her a few times a year in the summer.  After college, I moved out west where we were separated completely for a few years.  When I moved back east, I tried to include her in my life… but it was forced.  Things didn’t work out.  I tried… but I decided to take her back home and put her in storage.  And then two more years went by.

So that’s where I am now.  For the last two years, she has served no purpose in my life (other than a nostalgic keepsake, I suppose.)  And when I look ahead to the future, I’m having a hard time seeing a purpose for her there as well (again, other than a nostalgic keepsake.)  I try to tell myself that one day I will have a house with a garage and the time to do with the car as I please.  And then I think… well, what would I do with it?  Wash it, wax it, and take it to car shows?  That’s not exactly my lifestyle anymore.  I’d want to do something active, something fun… I’d love to compete in autocross… but that’s not realistic with the Oldsmobile… so, again, that leaves the car’s purpose in limbo, even in my imagined future.  So, I can’t help but ask, am I clinging to the past?  Are we no longer the perfect match we use to be?

It’s like breaking up with a girlfriend.

It seems as though, over the last few months, my desire for an automotive identity has been reignited… and just a few weekends ago I was close (at the dealership, working out financing) to purchasing a new car (a car I had done a lot of research on, that fit my check list surprisingly well: practical, performance inspired, with personality.)  Unfortunately, in the end, the deal fell through.  They wouldn’t give me a price I liked.

So, even though I try hard to not even consider it an option, I think of the Oldsmobile sitting in Erie, just sitting there.   And I realize that, without a doubt, the car serves no purpose in my life… but maybe it should.  And then I think, maybe the car itself isn’t what needs purpose in my life… maybe what the car represents, it’s essence, that should have purpose.  And maybe it’s time that essence, the spirit of the Olds, finds its place in my life again.

So that’s what this boils down to.

I want that relationship, the relationship between me and my car, the type of relationship that existed between me and the Olds, in my life again.  And I want it to be a part of my life each and everyday, not sitting in a garage hundreds of miles away, but on the road, taking me wherever life is taking me, because it just seems like a waste otherwise.  So I think taking the essence of the Oldsmobile and putting it into a car that would, without a doubt, be my pride and joy, might be the answer.

Sigh.  Or maybe this is some sort of life crisis that will all just blow over.  So whatever you do, don’t tell the Olds that.  She might never forgive me.

Chris

The Olds.

The Olds.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. hoff permalink
    August 25, 2009 6:38 pm

    Check out “Love the Beast” Eric Bana Doc about his love for his car, and general auto/human relationships, its pretty good stuff, very enjoyable and well made, may lead to an clear idea of what to do with the old girl.

    • cklockwork permalink
      August 25, 2009 6:49 pm

      good call. i remember seeing a trailer for that film… is it out on dvd yet??

      • hoff permalink
        August 29, 2009 6:55 am

        I am not sure, but its on the inter-webs if your so inclined to look. Not sure where you stand on that front, I imagine it would make an interesting blog post tho.

      • cklockwork permalink*
        August 31, 2009 12:39 am

        agreed. that will give me something to do this week…

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