Identity. I seem to come back to this idea a lot. This time I come back to it pissed off. I own a 1971 orange Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu convertible. A classic car. It’s been my only source of transportation for over eleven years now. It’s important that you understand the history of how this came to be.

I was almost, bordering on practically, killed on September 21, 1996, driving my 1992 Mazda Protégé. It started with a left-hand turn. Little did I know, and defying all logic and embracing utter stupidity, a full-sized Chevy truck was at that same instant driving around stopped vehicles at a red light into the opposite lane of traffic (the lane I was turning into) and proceeding to drive through that same red light. He made it……kinda. He proceeded to drive over my hood at 70mph while still accelerating. He was “in a rush.”* The paramedics were in a rush too it seemed, as they struggled to find which one of my car doors weren’t twisted so terribly that it would actually open (it was lucky door number 4). As for me, I was a bit confused; I was trying to figure out the relationship of blurry objects and time travel. Because the last thing I saw was a blur and an instant later my car wasn’t so much horizontal and I had strangers in EMT uniforms crawling in my backseat. As it turns out it wasn’t time travel at all; I had simply cracked not only my sternum on the steering wheel but also my head against the side window and then proceeded to take a little nap. I lived, received some free money, and then bought my Malibu a month later from a Mexican dude in Anaheim. The end.

The end of that paragraph at least.

*his own words.

Why did I buy the Malibu? Why buy a classic car in the first place? Simple. My friend Eric had one and I thought it looked cool.

Why have I kept driving it for eleven years? Humm. Not simple. I guess first and foremost it is just a blast to drive. I mean it is really fun. It’s exciting to get into it every morning and go to work. I literally smile when I start the car every time. I have never denied anyone the pleasure of getting behind its wheel because I love sharing that joy of driving. Nothing compares to cruising down PCH in the summer with the top down and a little ARROW 93.1 (RIP) blasting through the speakers.

Well, okay, that’s all fine and dandy but why else did I drive it every day for eleven freakin’ years? I guess, for a long time I didn’t really drive that much or very far. My work, schools, and friends were always relatively close by. I lived in Arizona for about a year and I still managed to put less than 500 miles on it. When I worked at BJs pizza delivering pizza in it for a spell it still barely made a dent in my odometer. However, the one thing I didn’t see coming was the identity factor. Everyone knew from afar that that’s dean in his orange car. Where ever I went, I went with a certain style. We slowly merged into one. I was unique. And I loved it. Now, I really couldn’t care less about most of the stuff classic car enthusiasts pine over. What I really love are the aesthetics of the car; the design. In a world of xeroxed, bubbles on wheels, I was cruising in a genuine Pollock masterpiece. How these dreadful bubbles devolved from my malibu still baffles me.

So, why after all this have I decided to give up the one object in my life that I’ve used and treasured more than any other before it? Well, it’s because I’m tired. I’m tired of breathing smog that I’ve perpetuated throughout these years and now forced to sit and inhale deeply while on this evil jaunt I’ve discovered called a “commute.” I’m tired of lining the overflowing pockets of the oil companies. I’m tired of filling up every other day. Finally, I’m simply tired of being selfish and vain.

So, how could I go from the unmistakable orange Malibu to a xeroxed Honda Civic? Well, years back, my friend Kevin and I used to talk about the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius when it first came out and how it would be cool to get one. It was a short dream that dissipated quickly enough but rematerialized instantly when I decided to venture into the treacherous world of new car buying. I test drove the Prius and loved it. I then hastily and sadly discovered that the HOV stickers were all gone and along with it my ability to partake in the carpool lane sans mannequin. I was also disheartened when I surveyed my online banking page. My new car buying bug had landed in a spider’s web, I was stuck and sticky and without some help (from a can of WD40 and a lighter ) my dream was in danger of being consumed by a black widow spider. Then I opened my mail. A little red envelope greeted me like it has every other day for 7+ years now. I opened it and put the disc in and sat down, ready to get pissed.

Now I’m pissed. I am now unstuck and ready to finally get a hybrid car, but also ready to get you to watch the film I watched tonight. I have been inspired to never buy a combustion engine vehicle ever again. It’s a terrible thing that happened to the EV1 and we have all lost because of it. I would love to vent all my frustrations that have awakened as I watched this film. But alas, I’m tired. Instead, I’ll ask you to pick up the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car and then call me up and we’ll meet up at Spadra on Saturday morning, I’m thinking about 930, ten-ish and while I wait for my blueberry pancakes with the blueberries inside, we’ll talk about starting a revolution and saving the world. See ya there.

Related posts: love lost is love found & crushed — part 2


Current mood: restless
Currently watching: Who Killed the Electric Car?


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