Our car died yesterday.
Not just died in the sense that it wouldn't start. More in the sense that it will never start again.
We called her the Prizm Riot, but really she was just a 2001 Chevy Prizm, which is really just a Toyota Corolla with a Chevy logo stamped onto it.
She was the first major purchase Cj and I ever made. We were engaged and I remember driving her off the lot and realizing for the very first time that my life was drastically changing.
Something about cars makes me sentimental. Not new cars. New cars are nice, and they work almost all of the time, and they are fancy and pretty and so incredibly boring.
I like a car with character.
I love that our Prizm's door won't open from the inside because once we got it washed in zero degree weather and then the water froze our door shut, ripping the handle off when we tried to open it.
I love that because the door wouldn't open from the inside I would have to roll down the window every time I parked in order to open it from the outside. And sometimes there would be someone parked next to me and they would start to roll down their window too because they thought I had something to say to them, so I would start to roll mine back up because I felt awkward, and then they would do the same, and sometimes that happened a few times before we were on the same page and I could open my door and walk quickly away before I had to talk to them.
I loved that there is white paint spilled all over the floors in the back seat from some previous owner in some previous location. I like to imagine the scene when they opened their door to find their paint had poured out of its container, paint they had just purchased for a new house, or an old house that needed a new look. I pretend that they said a lot of swears and then their spouse or their mother or their boss yelled at them for being such an idiot, and I don't blame them because there was a LOT of paint. But still, I like that I know a little something about someone else's history. Also I like that I'm not the only idiot who spills everything.
I love that every time the Prizm broke down Cj would call me and we would panic because we had no clue how we were going to pay for this next repair, and it would remind me of the time an old friend of mine said "I think it will be cool one day to be a poor newlywed with nothing to live on but love" and I got so upset with him because that is cheesy and because he had always been wealthy and obviously knew nothing about poor or debt or money or love, I thought. But now I have learned that in some ways he was right because every time our car breaks down I remember that I never love Cj more than when we lay in bed and laugh about the madness of trying to be an adult on a college-student budget and about how we have been sleeping on the floor for four months now because we don't want to buy a bedframe and about how we blew all of our money flying across the country to go on an adventure and about how we don't even regret any part of anything. Not one bit.
I'm sure we will come here again, to this broken, carless situation. I'm sure that at the end of our next car, and probably the next, Cj will still be spending hours frantically scouring the internet for the best next option while I write a nostalgic blog post or essay or journal entry on the whole matter before we move on, traces of our life brushing past the next owner, like the white paint on the floor of our favorite and only Prizm Riot.
RIP old girl.