Megan • SAN JOSE, CA
De Anza College
We were born in the year of the horse, but she was lucky; she had 125 horses. What roads she must have traveled I can only guess; when I was small, and tenderly strapped into a minivan, she roamed and precisely recorded the miles. She notched her journey but drew no pictures. When we met at 21 years of age I could tell her I had traveled over the Pacific, I had flown from this state to that, I had driven past the Grand Canyon and been completely eclipsed - I had tallied the miles since our birth and tracked myself to that moment. She couldn’t say the same.
In the casual intimacy of horse and wrangler, I came to know her insides. The odometer was unblinking but her innards trembled with the years of her labor. Almost immediately I replaced her radiator, after a steaming fit. Next was a fresh battery, for the acidic spark, which coughed similar automatic life into the primordial ocean. Then she was thirsty, and we developed a weekly ritual of oil and coolant. The car needed love, and I obliged.
I needed to drive, and the car obliged.
She was a gift to me: she was a gift launched from my birth year, traveling a strange vector to intersect my own and run parallel for a while. Her 125 horses were my ticket to college. She gave me the speed to pursue my education and to work in my commuter city, and she gave all she had until her final moments, when a distracted driver ran into her while she was stopped at a red light. They towed away her crumpled body and gave me cash for a newer car, but the closeness of our stars made me shiver.
The white 1990 Honda Accord was nothing at which to look; your gaze slid easily off the boxy frame, she said nothing except, “I am mobile,” but then, that’s what the birds sing, and what the Earth spins in star-speak.