Tonight marks four weeks since Kermit and I parted. These particular four weeks have been monumentally busy, both professionally and personally, and my gratitude for this jolt of vitality cannot be overstated. First, it has helped me cope with transitioning to the new wheels. (Cloth seats are grabby and confusing. What side is the gas tank on. Why the eff doesn’t the rear window defroster turn itself off. Etc.) Next and more importantly, it has been the catalyst I have needed to go forward again. I have been forced to be patient with a necessary inertia for close to two years now, a time in which I have learned and grown so much, yet am more than ready to bid farewell.
Saying that to Kermit however has been a lot harder than I thought. And tonight, on my drive home in the new auto, I saw him sitting at the dealership all shined up with a big price tag in his windshield ready for someone to come take him home.
INT. CAR – EVENING
She bursts into tears. Tom Petty, “You Don’t Know How It Feels” plays on the radio.
(No really, that was playing.)
I have been trying to write this last post for the last two weeks. Yes, work has been crazy, mostly due to the fact that my company has been sold to our biggest competitor in a nearly billion dollar deal, and yes, I took a four-day road trip to Southern Cal, and yes, one of my closest friends got her literal dream job and is moving three time zones away and all the last minute socializing that stirs up, and yes, both my dogs have been on a vet bender, and yes, SEAL Team 6 took out bin Laden, and yes, Kate Middleton’s dress was sublime, and yes, I did get up at 2:45AM to see it live, and yes, all the regular life stuff on top. Even with the added action I intended to finish the Kermit posts, but every time I sat down to write, only nonsensical crap was coming out. (I still don’t know if this makes sense or if it properly respects my time with the big green Allroad.) The only thing I have figured out about why that might be happening is that I’m really missing our groove together and not getting the post done is a slightly immature rebellion in hopes of keeping the memories fresh.
Getting a new car during this time of transition is nothing but positive. The facts are this: Kermit required more repair work than I could afford, or that he was was worth. What chokes me up, is that I have always maintained and repaired all of my cars with care and diligence, but as some very serious financial circumstances closed in on me, deferring maintenance on Kermit was a deliberate decision. Not only do I miss my car, I feel guilty for nearly killing it.
Then I remembered “The Giving Tree.” As much as The Boy is a caricature of insolent behavior due to his relentless selfishness, The Tree epitomizes warmth and respect and grace and love. I will not compare myself to The Boy, but I will compare Kermit to The Tree. He so consistently took care of me, over the hundred thousand miles we spent together hauling around me and my life, always making me look good, even when I felt very, very bad. His final good deed was to provide the completely unexpected and sizable down payment for the new car. To not be able to fix him myself as repayment for his service has troubled me, which I know, sounds absurd. I am aware that I am describing a car, not a person. I am aware that Kermit is a machine, worth only how well his parts work and what that market values.
But no matter what, I will forever love and appreciate that car like a member of my tribe, for always taking care of me, and for sticking by me through the very end, and now watching me go forward into my limitless future.
In a few days, I’ll introduce you to the new auto. Kermit approves.