Monday, June 14, 2010

The Dart

It has been a long time since I updated my blog. That's what happens when you work 2 jobs and barely have enough time to do your laundry, let alone write anything interesting or worth reading. (Not that anything I write is interesting or worth reading, but I try.) But, well, I now only have one job, so hopefully there will be a whole lot more where these came from. (The "only have one job" is going to be a different post.)

Now comes the all-important question: What do I write after having been absent for so many months? Do I write about why I only have one job now? Do I write about the fun phone calls I’ve had to deal with? Do I continue my Jury Duty story that I never did continue? Nope...I feel like this post is going to have to be something easy, much like the first workout after not exercising for a long time. (Yet another post idea…) So, I’m instead going to write about something very near and dear to my heart: the Dart.

The Dart is a 1974 Dodge Dart that is kind of a family heirloom. My grandparents on my dad’s side bought it brand new in 1974. Then, my Aunt Bev drove it out to CSUN for college. Then, my grandparents drove it for many more years before giving it to my dad to update their ride to a pimped out Oldsmobile station wagon(corduroy seats anyone?). My sister then had the pleasure of driving it, and then, it came to me. I drove it almost every single day of my senior year of high school. My dad took it back when I started college and needed something to make the long drive out to Pierce. He drives it everyday to work. Except when my car has trouble and I have to us it.

We don’t have money or jewels to pass down generations, but the Dart is totally priceless.

Now, looking at it, you wouldn’t think much of it. The blue paint has faded and the white canvas top is almost completely gone. The seats are cracked so the padding is showing and the dashboard is not in the greatest shape. In order to open the trunk, you need a screwdriver and a little bit of lock-picking talent. This is all before I mention how my dad keeps every water bottle from the past year in the front seat along with his passes from work, his Thomas Guide, jumper cables, and straws. Plus, the Christmas lights in the back seat he got from General Hospital. (Do we actually need more Christmas lights? No, but the prop department was throwing them out so I must take them!)

Driving it is, well, to put it nicely, an adventure. There is a whole ritual to getting it to start and then you have to keep your foot on the accelerator to keep it from dying. When you need to brake, you have to pump the brakes three times and pray that three times was enough. The heater has to be on at all times so it won’t overheat. Also, just recently, it started popping out of gear so sometimes you have to slow down and let it pop back in.

You’re probably wondering why I would consider this POS as special. (Or if I just really have a thing for living dangerously.)

Here’s the thing: The Dart has never failed me. Sure, it’s died while I was sitting at a red light, but it always starts up. I might be sweating by the time I get to my destination, but I always get there. My right leg might get a workout pumping the brakes, but I always manage to stop. Plus, when my car (which I love very much) has some trouble, as all cars do, the Dart is there to get me where I need to go.

Even more than its reliability, the Dart has memories. I remember being a kid and driving around with my grandparents to run errands and pretending the hump on the floor of the backseat was a wall that my sister was not allowed to cross. I remember when my mom stalled it and couldn’t get it started again because she flooded the engine and then yelled at me because I was laughing pretty hard. I remember piling the whole basketball team in it to go out to lunch, even though most of my teammates were not supposed to leave campus for lunch.

The Dart is way more than a car on its last legs. It’s a part of my history and my family’s history. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

However, I will be happy when my car is fixed.

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