Monday, July 14, 2014

Parting with a Saturn Named Slick

   Three years after my divorce I moved to join my daughter in California.  I did not want to drive the distance from Kentucky because it would wear out my beloved Saturn.  I had Slick shipped at the cost of $1500.  When the shipping truck came to pick up Slick, I hugged Slick and said “I’ll see you in California.  Take care.”

   After two months in San Francisco I noticed Slick’s pain job looks tarnished.  I had been taking it to the drive through wash like I used to do in Kentucky.  I couldn’t figure out how to remove the blemish and where it was coming from.  Kentucky didn’t have the moist air of the Bay Area.  Finally she realized the fog of San Francisco toughens dust and it sticks to Slick.  Soap and water spray wasn’t going to fix it.  I quit going to the car wash and bought RainX Fast Wax.  I hand waxed Slick during the cold fall and winter moths of street parking.  It usually took 2 hours to do it well.  Slick looked shinny as new.  My new friends kept asking her what year model was it. 

   Then in the spring of 2014 the GM recall was announced over the 6 o’clock news.  The recall was overdue.  A number have died in fatal accidents before the defects were acknowledged by the car manufacturer.  Slick was included in the recall.  The news of the fatalities scared me but not enough to consider parting with Slick.  After the news about the recall broke out I received the recall letters telling me Slick would be fixed at no cost and that I would be notified as soon as parts are available. 

   Four months and four similar letters later I was still waiting.  The letters gave no promise of parts an any given time frame.  It could be any day or never.  I was starting to get worried.  Slick was aging and the defect could hit anytime without warning.  If I were to die alone with Slick that would be ‘romantic’.  Now that my daughter rides with me, a fatal accident is not acceptable.   

   I decided with a heavy heart to trade in Slick.  A friend recommended Melody Toyota in San Bruno.  I got a clean, shiny like new 2008 Toyota Matrix at a price I can afford.  I named it Trixie.

   Before I left Slick I gave it a long hug and whispered “Please forgive me.  This hurts me too.  I hope you understand,” and cried as I drove away.  A last look at Slick told me Slick understoodme.  Someday if I should ever have a garage and money to afford an extra car, I will find Slick through her Vin number and buy her back at whatever condition.  I have lost a lot in my life that can’t be bought back.  Slick won’t be one of them.  

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