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The World Moves On

And the things we leave behind.

When was the first time your world changed?

Your world, meaning the one you and you alone, inhabit.

Was it for the better? Or not? When did you notice something was different? Were you happy about it, or sad?

For me, it was the cars. I was a motorhead, and if it had wheels and an engine, I was on it. Back then, you could tell a car’s make, model, and often the year just by looking at it. You knew a Chevy from a Ford, Cadillac from Buick, an AMC from everything else. When the cops asked what kind of car you saw, you told them. No big deal. They were easy to work on, too. I wasn’t what you’d call a mechanic, but I certainly knew my way around a car’s innards. Very helpful when I went to a garage and the mechanic tried to give this teenaged girl who knew nothing about cars (because girls just didn’t) a bunch of bullshit and I’d call him on it. I knew what was wrong with the car. Throw up the hood and point to the problem if I had to. Ah, the looks on their faces!

Then in the 80s, the cars started to look alike. Smaller. Seemed like every maker wanted to copy the Japanese style. Later, European. And the computers. I remember my mechanic (had known him for years) showing me his certificate for passing a course on a car’s computerized parts. What was under the hood was so complicated, it was almost unrecognizable to me.

We always leave pieces of ourselves behind.

I’m not saying modernization is a bad thing. Fuel injectors beats the hell out of a carburetor. But it was obvious that the monstrous land yachts with the aircraft-sized engines I loved so much weren’t coming back. No more being able to sprawl in the back seat and take a nap. Trunks big enough to move a house. So heavy that if you fucked up, it rarely rolled unless you fell off a cliff or something.

And really, it made me sad. It was like a piece of me had been left behind. 

Of course, other pieces of me have been left behind. Life events, some cataclysmic. Somehow though, the thought of losing my beloved mobile living rooms leaves me at my most melancholy.

So I suppose that’s why my first car was a 1961 Cadillac Fleetwood. Yep, with fins. Her name was Brucilla. White and rust, with a hole in the floorboard big enough to see the pavement beneath you. And her engine had a growl that would scare the piss out of a T-Rex.

I loved her. But I had to leave her behind, too.

Ah, well. Such is life. We must go forward.

Ever forward.

We have no choice.







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