“I’m from Southern California. There, a car can be a sort of home in itself. You spend hours in it, often doing nothing. Everything you see is curated by its windows, curated by the roads you take it over. Saying goodbye to a car is like saying goodbye to an entire way of seeing the world. I’ll never sit at precisely that angle again. I’ll never look through a mirror quite the same way….On the bus, on the sidewalk, even in my girlfriend’s car, I’m already seeing things differently. I guess that’s how you know it’s over.”
-- Eric Nusbaum for The Billfold
I took Herbie in last week to get checked out before our 1000-mile drive back to California from Colorado later this week. There were about $900 worth of things that needed to be dealt with, and I was halfway to crushed before Dad (over the phone with my friend Erik) said to just do some of it and we’d have the dealer back home take a look at the stuff we weren’t sure was necessary.
This was amenable, until this morning when I drove on the 75-mph-speed-limited Interstate 70 and Herbie was out of control. I had other people’s kids in my car and I was afraid for our safety. There was no way Herbie was going to get to California this week without those repairs.
So I called my Dad this afternoon to decide what to do. Safety being his priority, he said to go ahead and call Honda and see about getting Herbie safe to drive back to California. This was amenable, until he also said to start preparing myself to retire Herbie when I get home.
Herbie is a 2001 Accord. I acquired Herbie in 2003 when I began to learn to drive. Herbie is the first and only car that has ever been mine – and 10 years is an incredible run. Herbie and I have been a lot of places. Herbie has driven me to D Street and to Grace Hall and to Holy Hill and to the Rocky Mountains and to everywhere that the last 10 years have taken me.
Herbie has, pretty much most importantly, proudly proclaimed from his sticker-clad bumper all the things I hold most dear.
As much as I know that cars do not last forever, I was pretty comfortable with the idea that Herbie was somehow just going to keep on keeping on.
I cannot believe that I’m going to drive back to Berkeley next month without Herbie. And I cannot believe that I’m going to move across the country after graduation without Herbie. And I cannot believe that all the nexts are going to happen without Herbie.