I’m mostly ready to let go of my Saab. She was my engagement ring. A 900s with a manual tranny. Dark green like the color money used to be. I reupholstered her interior door panels with a black and white bold canvas hawaiian print.
She was our first purchase to support our union. And I have been in love with her ever since. We bought her off Craig’s list, Louisiana. And a week later he picked me up from the airport in her. We took her to the courthouse and then to the justice of the peace, the day we got married. He brought her to me here in FL.
We took her “top down,” on moonlit expeditions through forbidden preserves and trails, with brush so tall it disoriented. Beneath what must have been a billion stars, sewn into a blanket of blackness. Navigating only by the change in temperature. Moment to moment moving from hot and humid rainforest, to what felt like Connecticut’s cool September mornings. Florida holly, orange blossoms, and night blooming jasmine, wafted quickly past us as we zoomed through trails so tiny only she could access.
We Filled her with sand from beach escapades. sopped up pools of water on her 1990’s dried out leather seats; I learned how to do my first and last ball joint replacement on her.
We did everything together, the 4 of us. Me him, Milo, and our “snaabby!” She was sleek, sporty, sexy, and built like a battleship. Everyone who saw that car had a love story about their version of her. And I knew exactly how they all felt. I felt it too.
We moved her from one side of the pond to the other so we could cut the grass beneath her. Now, She sits across the street, enduring endless hours of Florida‘s hostile environment. Sun beating down on her, cooking her black cloth top. Tires dried and flattening as the ground moulds around her. Corners rusting. disrespected and decaying. It’s heartbreaking to watch.
Her fall from grace is the first thing I see of the outside world’s reflection of my inside world, every single day.
It was unspoken that she would be my husband, the mechanics’ responsibility. But he never took to it. He never wanted it. He ignored her like most things he was “unavailable” for it.
She’s been neglected so long she’s almost unrecognizable.
I let it be… I ignored the ignoring. I denied the denial. Because, I didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t let go of the dream the fairytale that there will be a moment in time, he would come back and love us into repair like he once did.
It’s too late now. She’s past her prime. and I don’t have the wherewithal to cure her without him. Saab, is nonexistent. And the “Swedish Wrenches”are hard to come by. Really, the asset it would take to fix that fairy tail… well, I guess it’s best to just dream another dream.
Still, my connection to her is deep and meaningful. Filled with memories of the kind of joy that can only be had in a convertible and of times my husband rescued, us when her age made her unstable.
It’s a addicting… you know, when your man drops everything to find you on the side of the road and repairs what’s broken McGiver style, so you can be on your way. It’s as close to a redneck fairytale as you can get. All we were missing was a jug of moonshine, a trailer hitch and my ability to desire less.