A little over two years ago some people gave me a 1995 Dodge Caravan. As in free.
For two years I drove it 60 miles back and forth to work.
I used it to take my dogs to the lake, out for morning coffee and just on joyrides so they could terrorize the general public. The back windows were tinted black so unsuspecting passersby couldn’t see the dogs until they were confronted with a snarling cerebus rocking the van like something out of a horror movie. I put up ‘Beware of Dog’ signs, but the dogs ate them.
The van was an absolute eyesore both inside and out. The clear coat was flaking off, it was missing a lot of paint, the driver’s door was dented and the roof was rusted. It was full of dog hair, pop cans, empty cigarette boxes, shoes, socks and surprisingly, underwear.
In December I had to have my gall bladder removed and the van got sick at the same time. It needed a new fuel pump so in a way, we both had surgery. As soon as I was feeling well enough to go back to work, the van was ready to roll again. My mom saw me driving to work and commented that the van looked like it was smiling.
About three weeks ago, it started dying when I slowed down. I took it to my mechanic and he confirmed what I suspected: the van has transmission cancer. When I asked how much it would cost to fix it, he laughed and said, “Glory, buy a new van.”
A man from the junkyard is coming to haul it off after the 4th of July and it makes me sad. This was my friend and constant companion for more than two years. I don’t want to part with it, but I can’t have it as a rusting, leaking lawn ornament either.
Now I am driving my Honda Prelude, which is a great little car, but it totally lacks the personality of the van. When I turn left the clock doesn’t blink. When I apply the brakes, the radio doesn’t shut off. The heater works. It’s not full of dog hair (because the dogs won’t fit in it). The airbag light doesn’t randomly come on causing me to wonder if the bag is going to deploy and break my nose and glasses. Overall, it is just a boring ride.
So, adios, mi amigo. You will be hard to replace.