Dear….well, dear you.
I don’t like letter greetings, never have. To me, their excessive practice makes them lose all meaning, and ink is expensive – even if my mom steals it from her office. I almost feel indebted to her boss for all the assignments I’ve turned in using their ink. I’d call it blood ink – that would be a good book title, I think.
But I was thinking about my old baby, my trusty, rusty (and maybe a bit crusty) Honda Civic. It was my first car; you could call it my first love (and I’d much rather tell people that it was, instead of admitting it was you). I was that typical 16-year-old who thought she could conquer the world from behind the wheel of a noisy 2001 engine. I remember how much you had to strain sometimes to hear me over the sound of my car.
The last time I saw you, you threw my purple backpack – now littered with holes from your menthols – into the back of my barely-running Honda Civic – its damage for which I still blame you – and told me to “have a nice life,” as if you meant that. You didn’t apologize for damaging my things, or even seem to recognize their wear. You didn’t apologize for the awful smell that purple bag left in my backseat. I couldn’t get it out. The guy who bought the car off me complained.
It’s been four years since we last spoke. I feel like this is where I’m supposed to say “I’m sorry,” for convincing myself you were as good as dead, but it was my greatest act of self-love yet. Entirely removing myself from you ended up being one of the best decisions of my life. Pretty much everything got better. I know it sounds dramatic, but just listen: my friends started talking to me again, my parents stopped fighting, at least over me and you. School administration stopped targeting me, and I rediscovered my love for the arts, something you discouraged me from for some reason. I could finally see the end of the proverbial tunnel, and that tunnel’s proverbial sun was about to shine on me for the first time in a long time.
Unfortunately, if we want to really say “everything,” well…my car’s still busted. The cease of your presence didn’t magically make my lights work, didn’t magically fix my engine. But really, what was I to expect? I was lucky enough to be able to sell that thing a year later.
I’m not sure if I hope you’re well now. Sure, I’m not angry anymore, and the sight of your face no longer curls my stomach. But I still have you blocked on every piece of social media I use – including LinkedIn, if you can believe it – and every time I get a chill down my spine I remember you moved halfway across the country.
I heard you busted your Honda, too, so maybe you’re stranded somewhere in the endless expanse that is the United States Midwest. I wonder if that’s some sort of record – one person wrecks two Hondas, not even owned by the same person.
(I heard you busted your new partner’s car, too…maybe you should just stop driving.)
Regardless, I’m sure we’ll never cross paths again, and that is one thing in this world for which I will be eternally grateful.
So… “have a nice life.”
the proud owner of a Jeep Patriot