Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Saturn Named Slick

   During the last few months of my marriage to an American, I bought a car on bank loan.  A survivor of failed relationships, I was preparing for the time when besides my personal stuff nothing was coming with me when I move out.  I wanted a car I could use, maybe even live in should circumstances demand.  I planned on giving my ex-husband everything in the divorce.  All except the red car which is owned by the bank.  I named the red Saturn, Slick.  On the conflict night, I drove away with my suits, coats and shoes in the trunk straight to a cheap hotel.  I showed up for work the next day like nothing happened.  It took me a week to find an apartment.

   My only gain was my freedom.  The divorce settlement included a ‘no harassment/no communication’ clause.  I gladly paid my divorce lawyer $1100 to burn that bridge.  I weathered the battle alone with no family in that state and no friend other than Slick.

   The following winter, I was singing Karaoke at another Filipina’s home when the news of a snow storm was announced.  I had seen snow storms before.  I was having fun so I ignored the warning.  On the way home I found the streets covered with snow.  I wanted to turn back to my friend’s home but I would rather sleep in my own bed.  I drove slow and real careful when suddenly I got stuck on something.  I had driven up an island where a stump of a broken sign remained.  Slick’s transmission hung on top of the stump.  As Slick was pulled by the towing service the engine oil gushed out.

   When I realized how much damage I had caused Slick, I was overcome with grief.  I felt Slick stood by me in my darkest days and I returned the favor by driving up an island.  It did not help that the auto shop owner tried to console me with “Don’t worry, cars don’t have feelings.”

   To this day the memory of that accident brings guilt feelings to me.  Slick and I moved to another state.   

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