Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Jeep Tale: A Narrative Update on Maria

She sits there motionless, as motionless as a log in a forest, parked, and completely unable to fulfill her purpose. She does me no good. She benefits me about as much as a microphone would benefit a mute. But none of this is her doing, and none of it is mine either. This impasse that I find myself in is nothing more than a result of the passing of time, and perhaps a bit of neglect. After 22 years of life, she has been around the block once or twice, she has seen her share of the countryside, she has done more than her duty. So I suppose it is only fitting that this should happen. Just as a cow gets put out to pasture after a lifetime of use, so too, it seems, must this friend of mine.

But the problem is that I am not ready to see her go. She has been in my life for such a short time. To say goodbye so soon would be like quitting a marathon after the first mile. It would be shameful and embarrassing. A feeling of failure would follow just as sure as the hangover follows the all-night party. I would spend the remainder of my life asking that infamous question, “What might have been?”

But I suppose I owe it to her. Prolonging a life is not always what is best, and prolonging hers, knowing the constant aches and strain she must be experiencing, keeping her here for my own purpose and my own satisfaction would be a perfect example of the ultimate selfish act.

Oh how I long to restore her to her former beauty! To see her radiant and shining again, to see her racing across the fields, climbing the tops of hills, and frolicking in the mud as she did as a child. How great must be her pain. How strong must her desire be to go home, to end the suffering. Well too bad Maria! Once I get your harmonic balancer replaced you will be just fine, at least fine enough for me to continue to punish you with my three days-a-week commute to school, and my snow-covered-roads joy rides, and my short trips to the bank. Aww, get over it. You can handle it, you’re a Jeep!

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