To the owner of my old car,
I’m writing this letter to let you know a few things about my car, which I learned about him over the 8 years we spent together. I’m not sure if you’ll see him as just a tool or a member of the family. Cars hang in this precarious status between. But, this Black, 2008, Honda Civic Coupe you bought used was well cared for, despite the ding on the hood. Someone backed into him with their trailer hitch the first week. Me and my dad bought repair paint from the auto store, Honda brand and all that. It still chips out, and has been a point of annoyance for me for all 8 years. Hopefully the dealer has taken care of that for you. I paid to have the paint fixed on the roof in 2015. It’s so expensive, so forgive me for only doing the minimal here.
It seemed there was no end to these little dings. I was driving home from a conference I was staffing, and a rock nicked the windshield. It’s just below eye level on the driver side, barely noticeable until you see it. Then the seen cannot be unseen. A few years ago, the neighbors douche-bag son ran his bicycle into it’s side. The tire print was visible when I came out to walk the dog, along with that subtle dent. I call him a douche because he rides a BMX and shouts rap songs as he goes up the street, must be about 30, and is so white trying to be hood. I never said a word to them. I couldn’t prove it, although he’s the only one around who rides a bike, and the relationship I have with his parents is more important to me. The paint wasn’t damaged, so whatever.
I wonder, new owner, if you’ll change his oil as soon as it gets to 40%, like I did. The radio is a pain in the ass, but it’s a Honda thing, I didn’t do anything to it. Use an i-home hookup and you’ll be better than good. You might want to switch out the visors for fabric ones. The plastic ones just keep breaking. That’s also a Honda flaw you can find reported online (also look up the radio thing). Otherwise, you won’t have a single problem with this car, unless, as I said, you forget the oil changes and maintenance. It’s worth it to you to take care of him. I did, and he took care of me.
Should I tell you that his theme song was Timberlake’s “Sexy Back“, or how I hemmed and hawed about buying. A good friend sat with me through some of that, and she was there today (online) to see me get his replacement. Gah! Replacement sounds so cold. You spend 8 years of your life with this machine. It carted me to work and the grocery store, to events where I did book signings. I went to the movies in it, and noticed that its outline resembled the Bat Tank. I went to my graduate graduation ceremony in him, and attended interviews all over my area until I got the promotion I now have. He listened to me sing to the music, and cry when I had been hurt. He carried my golf clubs, and waited for me in the lot when I came back exhausted and sweaty, and the gloaming had come in. I would open up all the windows and blare my radio and ride back from the golf course drying out. He never gave me a hard time for it. So, too, he was silent when I made that final drive to the vet with my dog Max. Max was dying of Lymphoma. My car got me home in a fog without my boy by my side, and we went back and picked up his remains that were given to me in a tiny plastic box. Max once threw up in the passenger front seat, and once in the back. My new dog, Sadie, road in the back with a seat belt securing her. Max was small enough to fit in the front and had a seat harness as well. I remember the passenger side airbag being turned off (the light is just behind your hand as it grips the wheel at 3).
The tires were new last fall. Please buy snow tires. They worked best on the front, despite what they’ll tell you. Don’t speed. Keep attentive. You are not invincible. People die in cars all the time, and this one doesn’t want to be your chariot to the other side.
Just so you know, I called him the car of 9 dragons: a steering wheel cover with three, a dash dragon that lights up, two front mats, a Welsh flag window cling, and two license plate frames.
I don’t know if you’ll care about any of this. When I was closing in on the trade-in date, I kept asking myself if I cared at all that my car would be gone. Like with Max, I had to leave him behind and it leaves you a little off inside. Of course I am stoked about the new car, but I’m not someone who leaves a man behind either. I imagine that’s the road to hoarding, so I just do it and deal with it. Blame Disney movies for anthropomorphising inanimate objects.
I hope he serves you as well as he served me, and that you serve him as well as I served him. Enjoy your new car. Don’t be sad that he’s not the newest. He’s got few miles and is gonna get you through and looks pretty damn sleek for an 8 year old. Congratulations on your new family member.
The Former Owner