When last we met, my 18-year-old car, The Station Master was in the shop. Just to get him home that day would cost me $700.
And to add a melodramatic twist, that very day a used car went up for sale that was less than half as old, had less than half the miles, and was in remarkable condition. As an employee, I could get it for a remarkable price.
I’d known from the day my dad gave me the car that it wouldn’t last forever. But until I got a new job and a new address, that really wasn’t a concern.
Once those changes took place, if my car died, I had no one to lean on—it was exhilarating, there was no net, but I also had to listen to and consider no one’s council, advice, or permission. Except the experts, and they were all my fellow inmates at the lunatic asylum we call work.
So, I knew this particular car was a smart sensible but I also had daydreams of a super cool, SUV or alternatively, a low slung, sexy, fast, convertible sports car.
Couple of problems there, Gentle Reader.
Actually, there was only one true problem.
Say it along with me, won’t you? M-O-N-E-Y—for a down payment on one of those fantasy cars so that my monthly payment would be eleven or twelve hundred dollars. And, even though I see folks buying cars with payments like that every day, a girl whose first car cost $500 just can’t do it.
But I still had a choice, keep The Station Master, or make the move.
Since my car was currently undrivable, when I had errands to run, I borrowed the used car I was considering in which to run them.
At some point while I was out, I decided to take the car.
Back at the dealership, I sold myself the car. All the paperwork I do when I sell a car, I did, but with my name on it.
Eventually, it was time to do what we call “stocking the trade”. I remove the license plate, make sure the old owner has removed all their belongings, do some paperwork and drive it around back to a line of other trade-ins. Most would be cleaned, sent through the shop, and sold by us.
The Station Master’s repairs would cost more than we could ever hope to sell it for, so my car was going straight to the auction.
The auction is the glue factory of the auto world. Some do get sold to private owners or used car dealers and continue driving for many happy tears, but a large portion do not.
I hopped in The Station Master one last time and drove it around to the back of the building. On the way, I spoke to my car, “I am going to miss you, you’ve worked so hard and helped me change my entire life. You’ve given me so very much, if you need to rest, you go ahead. You’ve earned it.
Then I parked it and walked away, I might have been a little teary, but I admit nothing.
I was told a couple days later that when I parked the car, the lights came on, wouldn’t turn off, and even after they charged the battery, they were never able to get the engine to start again.
So, I end this column the way I started last week’s:
A.)Lucky, with incredible timing.
B.)Hyper sentimentally over-anthropomorphizing again
C.)Not quite right and/or delusional
D.)Or; a combo platter of all three
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