I know it's shallow to be connected to a piece of machinery and even write about it in blog format, but right now this is on my mind. Discussing this most tragic situation will act as therapy and enable me to get over this major crisis. If this is the first time you're reading this blog and if you are an idiot, please understand I over exaggerate about my own small meaningless problems because I am a self absorbed shallow f###. Objectively speaking, I am well aware that this, in the scheme of the world, and it's disease, violence, poverty, and meaningless deaths, this is really nothing at all. But for the sake of entertainment purposes, I will nonetheless, gratify my needs to discuss and over dramatize my own stupid shit. Sorry for wasting your time explaining this, but I feel there are some, either ignorant, or overly sensitive souls that might find this post, like many of my other posts, to be just about a man whining about inconsequential nonsense. That's what it is. But I want you to realize that I realize that's what is.
Shall we move on.
Almost five years ago I purchased a car, via cars.com. This was the first time I've ever driven and owned a vehicle that I had picked out, and that I wanted. The others were usually hand me downs, and all were American made (GM) pieces of shit, in my opinion. The car I chose was 2004, 5-door Mazda3. Driving this thing was a dream and felt like nothing I've ever drove before. I've lived a sheltered automotive life. The handling, the power, the interior, and everything felt so perfect. I bought it in King of Prussia off of an Indian couple who took great care of it. It might as well have been brand new. It was silver. I wrote a song about it.
I remember the stress of buying it. My housemate at the time drove me down to pick it up. I never had that much cash on me at a given time. I remember going into a bank and getting all these bills. It felt as though I was robbing a bank. I told the woman I bought it off of that too. She didn't get the joke, and by the look on my face, the nervousness of it all, she probably thought I really did rob a bank.
There was some minor issue transferring the title as I recall and the process took longer than I had thought. But, eventually we got it taken car of and the thing was mine. Initially, I felt unworthy to drive the it. It seemed too good for me. I was thinking I belonged in a Chevy or an olds instead. It just seemed too good. That night I drove it around to various Berks county bars feeling like a bad ass. I ended up at the Krumsville Hotel (scummy crummy) that night, and that's when I met a current good friend of mine. And of course I told her all about my day and the purchase of the car and the drama surrounding that whole deal.
Months passed and the thing grew on me. It started to fit pretty well on me, like an article of clothing or a glove. I'd walk towards it, sitting there in the parking lot, and was always just amazed at it's humble beauty. It stood there like a little tank, or a maybe even like a fat little beetle or bug of some sort. The body on it was strong and perfect, it handled well, looked good, sounded good, and got me to wherever I needed to be in five years with no complaints or problems. It was like a strong and faithful horse...well, 175 horses to be exact. It protected us, and aside from it's mediocre snow performances, it made us all pretty safe.
The Mazda drove me to the hospital, with my housemate, to find out our dear friend and other housemate had passed away. Probably the weirdest car ride I was ever involved in. I never want to have a drive like that again. That being said, the Mazda got us there and remained quiet and understanding during that horrible night.
The "3" drove us, and other band members to lots of gigs. Again, making us safe while we carried on about our music or just made childish jokes about various shit. The Mazda was all a part of that. The car provided the venue and comfort for such good times. The smoothness of the ride contributed, I think, to the banter and the vibes of the situations.
It was also there the night of a public drunkenness citation and other things I won't mention. The car never judged anyone or anything. It accepted all passengers regardless of anything. And how could it not, with me as it's driver.
One September day after my serious hip fracture, I needed a little road trip on the weekend. I remember being on my own again, with just me and the Mazda, exploring uncharted territories (in my simple head). I was using a cane at the time. The two of us drove to the Catskills and I remember pulling over at a look out, realizing my life was coming back to normal again. I was less dependent and doing things on my own as I was enjoying the beauty of New York State. We returned down the Hudson, just me and the Mazda, stopping off at West Point, at a bar. I was still thin from the injury and I remember getting dirty looks from the locals. As uncomfortable as that was, the safety and piece of mind returned after I limped back to the car to come home through New York City and eventually hit Rt 78 West.
Two years ago, on a whim, with some time off, we darted up to Canada, eventually Quebec City. The Canadian border guard made me pull the car over after I made some wise cracks at the border. After the background check, which cleared, we were well on our way. Just me and the silver car, through remote stretches of Quebec wilderness, driving though obscure towns, and even stopping at a redneck Quebec (yes they exist) strip club. I wasn't well received so we left. Me and a friend returned to Quebec just a few weeks ago, and again, the car performed beautifully.
The car gave me a huge sense of freedom to explore.That can be empowering.
I failed to mention the countless routine trips to Allentown and the Lehigh Valley, either to Wegman's or other good restaurants, or evenings out on the town, with friends, trying to run game on the local scenester chicks. It was there for all of that, and if I did ever have game, enough to lure a broad back to my car, I had nothing to be embarrassed about when it came to my wheels, accept maybe the mess, including the empty Tea's Tea bottles often sitting in the back. But I have the feeling the slick display in the car would soon distract any would be conquest from the horrendous disorder in the backseat. Fortunately for the ladies, I have little game, and 98% of my passengers on weekend nights were my male friends, who most likely left the drinking establishments just as disappointed as me. However, our chats, on the way home would always be interesting, discussing what we, or I perceived, as blown opportunities or potential vibes. The Mazda, again would keep quiet during this type of typical male bullshit which I still gladly partake in today.
Last Thursday, on my way home from morning classes, I was approaching a hill. This was a hill the Mazda always crushed with no problems or struggles. I noticed a surging power as I was in fourth gear. Things didn't feel right. As I got down to the bottom of the hill, there were issues with it changing gear. Something definitely wasn't right. The "AT" light came on.
I did some minimal research with my minimal car knowledge and tried to convince myself that it was just an electrical issue. I contacted my local mechanic, which then took it to the local transmission fixer-upper. They ran a diagnostic test on it. As the results came in, the mechanic gave me a look as though someone ran over my puppy. I wasn't feeling good. It'd be a 2,000$ job.
I called my parents, specifically my old man for advice, I still do that 'cause I don't have a mind of my own. He suggested I get a new car. I didn't want to, but I figured I'd look around.
Yesterday, I got in a new Mazda3, 5-door. I was told there was rebates. I had to make a decision. I made a decision.
I will be saying good bye to an old reliable, but run down friend. This is it. I'm saying goodbye. This won't be easy me, or any of us. This machine brought me so much joy, and even pride (if that's possible). Yes, a machine can bring joy to a life, don't kid yourself.
The era of the 2004 Mazda3 is over.
I will miss it. But life moves on.
Thank you Mazda3. I <3 u.