I recently had to buy a different car because the transmission was going out on it. That gave me an opportunity to explore the relationship between a man and his car.
For as long as I've owned a car, I've loved to drive. It wasn't just about getting from point A to point B; it was about how I felt behind the wheel, knowing that I had control of a powerful machine at my feet and fingertips. I didn't understand the mechanics, and I still don't, but I knew enough to know there was magic to be had by starting up the engine.
As I got out on my own, driving became more of a necessity than a pleasure. I had places to go: to the store, to work, to the laundromat. At that time, driving lost the magic it held for me as a teenager.
Then I had..."The Car." It was black with red trim, was sleek and shiny, and it got me where I wanted to go fast. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it and that love affair never died until my car did. In retrospect, it wasn't so much that the car was anything special. It was how it reawakened my love of driving for fun.
I've owned a number of used cars over the years, and each one has held a special place in my heart. Whether it was the 1975 Pontiac Ventura I bought for $550 in the mid-80s or the two minivans I owned for a time, no matter how much work needed to be done on them, no matter how many times they broke down, no matter how much money I spent on parts to get them to run just one more time, I was hooked. I am a driver.
I eventually settled on a silver 2003 Chrysler Sebring, and once I got behind the wheel I felt the familiar rush of hearing the engine roar as it shifted from gear to gear in perfect harmony. I smiled as the car went around curves with ease, almost begging me to punch it at the next straightaway.
Yep, I'm a driver. And I will be one until the day I die.