she goes with me to a blossom world
- the beach boys, 'good vibrations'
SOME DAYS AGO i found a message on my phone from the police.
'we've found your car,' they said. 'call us,' they said and so i did.
they told me where she was. it sounded like a half-hour bike ride away. i had a shower. i wanted to smell nice. i looked up the address and realised it was only a few blocks away, on a little side street i have no good reason to ride down usually.
i hopped on my bike and rode along in the evening air. my feelings were mixed: since my car left me i'd spent a lot of time with my bike. i'd gotten to know my bike a lot better and we'd had some good times. we'd gotten pretty close and i may even have told my bike i loved her. now my ex-form-of-transport had gotten back in touch and so all these old feelings were being stirred up.
would i feel the same? could i keep things going with my bike? would i get seduced by the comfort of the familiar? why had i had a shower? what was that all about?
reader: one thing was for sure and that was that i'd find out soon enough because it wasn't far away. my bike nestled loyally between my thighs. i felt a little bit guilty. i'd promised my bike a new coat of paint and some oil and now here i was going to see my car. the sky was darkly orange around the edges with the just-set sun.
i found the street and my car was there, beneath a tree. she'd gone native, as colonists used to say, and was becoming tree, was thickly spread with leaves and blossoms. the earth was gradually reclaiming her, invoking the car cycle which is like the water cycle but involves cars instead of water: metal is mined and smelted and turned into cars which are driven around and then abandoned and return to the earth slowly as new ores and are maybe one day mined again and turned back into cars. ah, she looked so different and yet underneath it all i could see the old car i used to know.
i opened the boot and put my bike inside.
i walked over to the driver's side door and opened it and climbed in myself. she cradled me in velour. i tried to start her but it didn't quite work. there was a spark of something there, but it wasn't quite enough. i tried again and then again but each time she responded more weakly.
i guessed she needed something more from me. she was out of petrol, after all. the thieves had taken her and drained her and left her here and now here i was trying to start things up again as though nothing had happened: fool! i would have to do something.
the thieves had been thoughtful enough to abandon her just round the corner from a 24-hour petrol station. there was a jerry-can in the back and i grabbed it. i walked to the petrol station, which took maybe 25 seconds. i couldn't help thinking that abandoning an out-of-fuel car with a jerry-can in the back just 25 seconds from a 24-hour petrol station showed a DISTINCT LACK OF INITIATIVE on the part of the thieves. nonetheless: they'd made it easy for me: nice of them.
people kept looking at me funny. was this because i was unshaven and wearing a t-shirt with a snake crawling through a skull's eyesockets? i guess we'll never know. i got petrol and walked back and poured it in the tank and climbed in again and tried to start my car again. it didn't work. i tried and tried and then gave up and decided to try a roll start. i was on a faint incline.
i pushed and pushed and pushed and got a little momentum and then jumped in and tried to start and wrrrrrrrrrr the car shuddered to a stop.
i pushed and pushed again and got a little momentum again and then jumped in again and wrrrrrrrrrrrrrr exactly the same thing happened.
i was worried now because i was near the bottom of the hill. would i hafta abandon my car again? now that we'd been through so much?
i pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed and jumped in but we were going too slowly for it to work. fuck it: i tried anyway and she shuddered and shuddered and spat and hacked and sucked in air and came to life again and i drove her home. we haven't talked too much since then. there'll be time for that later. she's resting in the driveway now.