I used to have an '84 Volvo. The paint was rusted and flaking. The glove compartment didn't close at all, so you had to jab a pen in the side opening to jam it shut. The back seats had springs jutting out in all directions. I consumed cigarettes and Snapple as if they were the secret to immortality and wealth, and I was also a lazy, lazy man. The combination resulted in a back seat filled with American Spirit boxes and Snapple bottles. We're talking piles of each. The ashtray was constantly overflowing, so throw a few soggy butts into the melange. About once a month, one of the Snapples would leak, and my back seat would become a primordial soup of nastiness. It smelled even worse than you think it did.
I got better. Trust me. Just focus on the car.
The last time I drove the car, the electrical system failed. The car died on 280 in San Bruno, and without an electrical system, all I had was a single flare to warn people to stay off the shoulder as they came around a blind curve at 80 MPH. It was one of the more terrifying sequences of my life.
Still, when I donated the car to a charity I didn't like, a large part of me was crushed when the tow truck pulled up to take the car away. It wasn't the car's fault that it stunk; it couldn't just decide not to stink. It wasn't the car's fault that it died; I've almost lost both eyes and a thumb trying to check my oil at various times in my life, so I had no business thinking I could handle the tics of a car with 200,000 miles on it.
And, heck, the car kept me safe. Volvos are made from adamantium and unicorn horns, or some crap, so they're built like tanks. So the car wasn't all bad. It provided good defense, if you will.
Every I see an early '80s Volvo, it's nostalgia time. I don't think about the hectares of black smoke that flowed from the exhaust every time the car was started. I don't think of the possum-in-a-rice-cooker smell of the interior. I just think of the car as a lyric in the opera of my early 20s. And if I were to see that exact Volvo again -- say, batting seventh for the Phillies -- I would stand and applaud.
We'll miss you, Petey. Parts of you. Mostly the parts that weren't involved with swinging a bat. But we'll still miss you.
Open Pedro Feliz Analogy Thread. The more forced and ridiculous, the better.