IT’S BEEN two weeks now since Silver Shadow – my 2003 Toyota Camry – went on life support. Even in her last moments, she was dignified.
When I took her to three separate mechanics and they each told me that she needed a new engine, I knew I had to let her go. But even as I took her for her last car wash and drove her to the dealer for the trade-in, I was sad.
I held her steering wheel for the last time as she wheezed and leaked antifreeze. Then I got out and took a final glance at her. She looked at me with those big clear headlights and asked a simple question: “Why?”
That last accusing glance has stuck with me even as I’ve tried to bond with my new ride – a 2013 Camry we’ve named Quiet Storm. Despite her new-car smell and powerful engine, her big-car looks and gadget-happy display, I’m just not feeling it yet, and I think I know why.
I’m still grieving.
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(Featured illustration by Richard Harrington)