In October of 1997 my old ass car literally died. It was the car I had driven from Missouri to New York through a blizzard to work at WDRE FM. So I bought my first new car. A Honda Civic DX. No air conditioning(it was an expensive option. I later learned to regret this decision). I’ve driven it ever since. I’ve never been overly impressed with cars – to me they are a drama from start to finish. From the moment you begin the horrible task of speaking to a car dealership cretin, to the insane rates that you get charged by insurance companies, to the traffic/speed cameras that have infiltrated every city, I’d much rather take a train or ride a bike than boil in road rage for the pleasure of going to a strip mall. Plus, I have a knack for denting and dinging cars, which makes the prospect of owning a new one worrying.
When GTA3 came out I put a sticker on the window. I’ve done the same with every GTA since. The Technofile sticker peeled off. The snowboarding, bodyboarding and Johnny Cash stickers cracked and faded. But the GTA ones still look great.
During the week my car sits at the train station. It gets run into by morons pounding tall boy Bud Lights on the way back from a Manhattan union job or a Wall Street job. They stumble off the train and out to their vehicles and play bumper cars. Typically I am not around for such incidents, but a particularly amazing one occurred when I was driving slowly out of the parking lot . A girl in her early 20’s was driving in reverse while talking on her mobile phone and ran into me. Her father showed up, shouted at her, and offered me money. I declined, saying that the scratch and dent now matches the one on the other side of the car.
I put the car up for sale this week, which was really difficult. 109,500 miles. For a car 16 years old. Shortly after I bought it in 1997, a guy I had just met named Wayne said his car died and he had no way to get to work. I let him borrow the car even though I barely knew him. It cemented our relationship on the spot. And while typing this just now, I got a text message from Wayne saying he wants to buy it. It is heartwarming to know that there will be a friend doing despicable things in it instead of a stranger. I hope he doesn’t have a black light.