The end of the Coraline era
Today, for the first time in my driving life, I hit the road alone. That is to say, today, driving back from North Carolina, I was without Coraline.
Okay, I know that doesn't make sense. Technically speaking, I was by myself and obviously I wasn't walking. But we are at the end of the Coraline era here people, so I find justification in my melodramatic opening paragraph.
Coraline was (is) a 1997 Chevy Malibu. The gas gauge no longer works in that car. There is a nasty dent on the back of the driver's side from when some idiot in Chicago thought they had enough room to make a right turn. When it rains, she smells like mildew. If you put a drink in the driver's side cup holder it will fall to the ground, but works lovely as a cell phone holder on long trips. The stupid floor mats never stay where they're supposed to.
Nevertheless, she is my first car love. I named her after this "children's horror" book we had to read in a sophomore lit class at Bluffton. And now she lives with my parents.
My parents traded cars with me, no undoubtedly ripping themselves off by giving me the better deal - a car with less miles on it. I really am grateful, after all Cora was getting old. Not to mention that she had over 200,000 miles on it - almost all of which I put on myself. After all, I for two years I drove her from Ohio to Illinois and back. then Ohio to NC and back. Then all the way to Kansas and back. twice.
Still, it was sad to leave her sitting in the driveway when I took off this morning.
In some way, she represented all the areas in my life that I've been so far. She used to belong to an elderly lady in Illinois before she became mine. She sported a Bluffton University sticker on the back window, representing my life and education in Ohio. On her side mirrors, she proudly wore South Africa flags, which I got from street vendors during the 2010 World Cup. Her North Carolina plates. Well, I guess Kansas is left out of this. Unless you count her enduring spirit, sitting out in the cold winds of Kansas all winter long last year. Then all the wear and tear she got when we learned how to be city drivers this summer in Chicago.
What a beast.
Now I own a car I cannot pronounce the name of without sounding like a blubbering idiot. Seriously, I have to break it down slowly otherwise all my sounds get compiled into one weird sounded "shish"sound. I also have no idea how to spell without looking it up. Oh well, we'll bond.
But for now, here is my moment of silence for Coraline (even though she isn't dead.. and actually never, ever broke down on me). I'll miss that car. She was a champ.