I’m prone to oddly sentimental moments sometimes. Like this post, for instance.
I’m not the kind of guy who named his car, or acted like it was a person. It didn’t have a gender, but it had as much personality as an inanimate object can.
Now, to completely ignore all of that: my little blue 2010 Hyundai Sonata was a magnificent chariot, and it got me where I needed to be. The news it was deemed a total loss was some very painful news indeed. That part is a story I’d prefer not to get into, as I still have nightmares about it. Nobody was hurt, thankfully, and that’s what matters. The bruising to my ego caused by killing a car I’d had for less than a year, however, is its own sort of injury.
The Hyundai was my first car. It was the car I drove between driving lessons, and the car I got my driver’s license (far too many years later than I should have) in. It was the car that endured how many abrupt stops at stop signs and red lights. It handled sharp turns and wide turns and many other manners of poorly handled maneuvering. It was the soundboard for much swearing. I mean a lot of really creative combinations of expletives, too, because people really like coming to, and remaining at, a full stop at green lights on William Penn Highway.
My first adventures in highway driving were made possible because of this little blue car that could. Even the very first, pants-shittingly terrifying trip onto Parkway East (the Carnegie on-ramp is less of a driving experience and more of a gauntlet of anxiety and suffering).
I went on all manners of food runs in it, and it got me to a good number of good times. Despite my still quite-novice driving (read as: relatively bad driving), it always kept on keeping on.
It’s also my understanding the accident should have, by all means, disabled my car. The engine had been pushed upwards, and various other damages had been incurred I would like to not think about should have left the car stationary. There’s a part of me, though completely irrational, holding onto the notion my car kept going just as long as I needed it to in this situation. I couldn’t help feeling guilty driving away from dropping it off in a different Hyundai.
There was something truly painful about picking up the license plate and retrieving my belongings from the Sonata (as a side-note: I am sorry, mom and Tom, but I owe you two umbrellas as I forgot them in the backseat of the car; my bad). Its neighbors had large pieces hanging off, or missing completely. Out of all the cars there, it hardly seemed something worth deeming a total loss. The reality happened to be very different from how things appeared at a glance. The mechanic told me my Sonata was, in fact, the most badly damaged among all of those cars. Competition included a very sad looking Mustang that was on its way out to pasture (or, far more likely, one on its way to be shot behind the barn) and a Toyota with a completely exposed engine. Not exactly an honor I wanted.
It was, in the end, just a car. It was one of the greatest gifts I’d ever been given, a means to further my life (by taking steps towards becoming a mature, responsible adult and moving out, for instance), and so I’d like to revise State Farm’s assessment of it being a total loss. It brought good to my life. I’d like to think it’ll end up being melted down into some badass throne I can use again, once my nefarious schemes for world domination come to fruition. Meanwhile, this is a sad, oddly sentimental farewell to my very first car, the little blue 2010 Hyundai Sonata. It was one hell of a car.