To a Friend Who also Lost Their Car

By | 31 July 2012

Dear friend,

In such a small town our car had actually survived a hundred thousand k’s. The tyres slowly rolled over the erratic streetscape and left it flat on the slightly rugged tarred road. The aggressive pattern had long been ground introspective and smoothed. Our car was towed to a drab auto garage. The engine was jump-started, caught between whimpers and silences, reliving its eloquence of the good old days or worrying about its voiceless prospect. With a trunk of dingy rusty gears, it contemplated the highway of tomorrows. The dents needed the plastic surgery of panel-beating, not to mention new-skin transplants. The frail interior was taken apart, we needed to collect its fragile bones and hunt for substitute tendons. Half of the wires short-circuited. More than half of the oil hoses were jammed. The dyspeptic stomach needed to adjust itself to the impure domestic petrol. Would a mug of black coffee help digest the anxiety outside the operating room? But the vent-pipes belched out pungent bitter black smoke. And the filth of the motor oil, its sour smell spread like a discordant nocturne slowly pouring out. And what was the mess of imported used auto parts on the shelf prophesying? Our past was fragmenting into discrete pieces. The rear-view mirror used to have your approaching image from behind after class; the windshield wiper used to wipe off the heavy-clouded loads on our minds; the headlights used to light up the indistinct journey ahead. But the mechanic handed us a critical condition notice. We understood weighing it for scrap was hardly a fair deal for our feelings. But what would ferry us across the time lag from a death-bed parting to the nostalgic retrospect? How should we deal with the haunting codes on our loved one’s organ donor card?

Yours sincerely,

Your friend
who also lost his car


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