03 September 2010

The trials and tribulations of the steam machine

1995 was a good year. I was 10, I had a sweatshirt with a smiley face with a goatee wearing backwards hat that I wore pretty much every day, and I still thought I was going to be a blonde supermodel in a blue dress with a red sports car when I grew up. 1995 was also the year the steam machine gleamed brightly in some BMW show room, waiting to be taken home.

I don't know anything about the person who drove it before me, other than they played golf (and left some tees in my trunk), and had a KILLER carphone. They also destroyed the engine because they never changed the oil. Enter my mechanic, who decided to rebuild the engine and sell it to a new and loving driver.

At 20, I was living in Santa Cruz, and finding ways to come back to the east bay as often as I could, usually on Greyhound, since my mom wouldn't let me drive the Silver Bullet (my 84 Volvo) on highway 17. As much as I loved the character of the Silver Bullet, and as special as it was as my very first car, I knew my mom was probably right. We decided it was time for a replacement.

I can't say I remember much about my first couple of years with the Molar, as it was then affectionately dubbed. I do remember when a drunk person threw a cup holder at my windshield and destroyed it. I remember filling it up with just enough gas to get me home for the weekend and back to Santa Cruz, if I didn't drive it anywhere else. I remember when another person drunkenly tried to tear out my carphone (without success). But, what I certainly don't remember was feeling like my car wasn't going to get me where I needed to go alive. I think you can tell a decent car from a great one, or a horrible one, by how much you remember about driving it. I have never driven a "great" car. And this car, the Molar, is one I will unfortunately never forget.

to be continued....

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