My car was stolen last night. Or early this morning. Sometime, anyway. It doesn’t matter, really, because it’s gone. Missing. Lost. And oh, how I miss it. It was my car. My car. The one metal beast I’ve driven since I was fourteen. Ten years of driving with that creature; ten years of learning how to brake, accelerate, and check fluids. Replacing tires. Laughing as my tail pipe quite literally fell off right before my eyes.
It is rusty, old, and maroon-colored. Coated in rust, really. It’s an abstract piece of art, my antique car. It’s twenty years old, and has driven me to Iowa and back, to Indiana and back, nearly two dozen times. It’s an honest, dependable Oldsmobile with 166,000 miles. That’s a lot of miles we’ve shared. We’ve shared conversations, too; ones I carry with myself during those 11-hour drives across the prairies.
But now, your aged and dilapidated self most likely blends in to the neighborhood where you have been abandoned.
“Drugs,” the police officer told me. “Most likely, they just needed a vehicle for a delivery. They may have traded it for a rock of cocaine as well.”
Oh, Car. Come back. I’ll fix you; don’t worry. We just have to forget that someone violated you, and stole you. That someone took a personal and emotional item that was not theirs to take. That they abused you and used you for their amusement. Oh, Car. I’m so sorry.
I cried when I saw you were gone.
Strangely enough, while falling asleep last night, I thought about what would happen if you were to go missing. I thought about standing outside with two police officers, talking to them about how my car disappeared. And then, in my dream, you came back to me, returned, unscathed. In my dream, the criminal said, “Needed to take a friend to the airport! Thought I’d take it back to you, though! Thank you!”
In my dream, there was a happy ending. There was no broken glass behind the house. No, blue-tinted sharp edges. You weren’t just an easy target.
In real life, there was just one police officer, a man about my height. He politely asked questions, almost chatty. He told me they recover 98 percent of stolen vehicles in Indianapolis. He told me that it was most likely used to make a “delivery.”
“It might be up by 38th,” he said. “We’ll do our best to find it. It normally doesn’t take too long. The only thing that really hinders a quick recovery is when they hide the car in a garage of an abandoned house. But with Iowa license plates … we’ll see. Any other defining features?”
So I tell him about you, about your cuts and scrapes and scars. About the atlases I stow in you, about the vinyl Purdue University stickers I have plastered in both the front and back.
Oh, Car. I’m so sorry you were an easy target. You were mine. Mine. And every time I think about you, every time I remember that I didn’t drive you one last time, I am teary. I personified you, Car. Each morning, I’d park you in the garage at work, give you a pat on the “tail” and tell you to have a good day.
And while that may be childish, whoever took you from me will never show that same respect.
Be brave, Car.
By the way, when I swept up the brokenness? The sound, the sparkle—I could’ve been raking gems.
P.S. Those of you who did not receive a package (for whatever reason that may be) should keep an eye on your mailbox. Expect a little something me as consolation.
P.P.S. I do apologize for not being able to share photos of everyone's swap experience. I was not able to secure images for every person's gift. However, if you don't see your May Day swap gift here and want it to be included, let me and your respective partner know. I'm always eager to go back and add in a photo or two!
from Tiffany to Heidi
from Heidi to Ioana
from Blaire to Michelle
from Leslie to Sacha
from Zoë to Ty (We each sent him a package, mostly for our own amusement. This package was, as Zoë described, a "mailable inside joke.")
from Zoë to me (A combined May Day basket/birthday present. There are kitten stickers, you guys. And glittery horses. GLITTER HORSES, I tell you. Also, "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" is amazing and amusing and poignant and hilarious and full of curse words.)
from me to Sarah V. (The package included a wind-up rabbit, a ring I made from vintage buttons, magnets I made from vintage earrings and buttons, and a card designed by a local artist. I also sent her classic, old-time candy sticks, a handful of cookies, and a button/pin from Cordial Kitten.)
from Kayla to Meagan
from Meagan to Sarah L.
And a few more things I sent out. To my co-hosts. To Sarah V. To Zoë. Just because.