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Rage, rage against the dying of the headlight.

2006-06-16 - 10:29 a.m.

My car died this week. While I hadnít driven it in a long time (the baby seat was in our much newer Honda and if we needed to both be driving my husband took my car) I was sad to see it go. It was an í86 Ford Tempo and it had cost $1400 second hand in 1997. I was still a grad student at the time. I lived in a different city and used it almost every weekend to drive the 425 km back home to see a boyfriend that I thought Iíd marry, though itís now been over seven years since we broke up. Iíve dated many since then, and ultimately met the man Iím now married to. We, as you know if youíve been reading awhile, have dealt with fertility issues and now have a daughter, whoís sleeping as I type this. That boyfriend from 1997 lives a 10-minute walk away from us in a house he bought about the same time I bought mine. We have only run into him once and that wasnít long ago, though he and I have kept in touch via his parents and email.

Since 1997 Iíve gotten my M.Sc. and had 7 positions in 3 jobs, not counting my part-time and freelance stuff. I started going to the gym not long after I got that car and now Iím a certified group fitness instructor. I bought my first house, rented it out, tore it down without having ever spent a night in it, and built a new house that Iím in right now. This house is for sale as we look to move to a more kid-friendly neighbourhood near my husbandís business.

My mother has split from her boyfriend of 18 years. My sister has gotten engaged to be married this year, and I might be wrong about the timeline but I believe when I got that Tempo she was still married to the man she was separated from. She divorced him before she would have been widowed and, while I am sorry for his passing (which she did not know was coming when she initiated the divorce as he hadnít yet gotten sick with the disease that eventually killed him), I am thankful that their divorce was final before he went into the hospital; as someone not lawfully in the country he didnít have access to our public medical insurance and the cost of his care would have bankrupted my sister, had she still been legally responsible for his debts.

I have learned French since getting that car. I have entered my thirties; my grandmother has entered her eighties. I have started this journal. I have lost track of friends and made new ones.

It was time to let that car go. It had gotten rusty and unsafe and was emitting fumes that were bad for the environment. It died as it should have, with a problem that would have cost more than the car was worth to fix. It did not go gently into that rusty night though; J got a speeding ticket and it let go of a brake line as it was being driven to the scrap dealer. I got $157.50 for it, cash.

Iím sad though. It feels like the end of an era. Granted, it was an era of my friends making jokes about my car, but Iím sad all the same.

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