All posts filed under “American Mythology

Goodbye, Darling.

Two months ago, I sold my beloved 2002 Volkswagen GTI. I had been kicking around the idea for nearly two years, hemming and hawing about money, resources, self-image and past decisions. In leaving the life I had for the life I want, I had to let go of so much. I had to let go the person I was, the person I thought I was and the image of my self that I created.

And I had to let go of my car. I had so much of my self-image tied up into the VW, feeling too deeply attached to an engine, to metal, plastic, leather. I made the decision to buy this car when I was but 21 years old because I wanted a cool car, not thinking about the upkeep, the inevitable downhill slide a car takes as it ages. And I couldn’t keep up with it. It fell into disrepair. Pulling to the right, balding tires, worn suspension. It was too much; I felt anchored to this car. So, I sold it off to someone who could take better care of it, who could provide the time and money it deserved.

I gave up the ability to move about without asking permission. I gave up a small part of my sanctuary, where I hid and cried and screamed and felt safe. I gave up the long hours behind the wheel, seeking images and places and experiences I needed to have, so that I could feel connected to something other than media. I gave up irresponsible straight-aways at 90 miles an hour, tight mountain curves and the whisper of the interstate. I gave it up so I could, maybe, be present in my life. I gave it up to access something that’s more concrete than running away.

They traded their memories for fairview and acres and never play no pinball or get up pass the breakers.

Casino Facade Silver Ball Museum

On a Sunday two weeks past, we headed into New Jersey, to the shore. I wanted to breathe in the ocean air one last time before the days started to got too short, wanted to gaze out across the ocean to where the curve of the Earth meets the sky, to bang some pleasure machines.

I realized that the things that I love about Asbury Park have disintegrated. It has become dotted with people with more money than I can fathom, crowds push by on the boardwalk, which now has good restaurants and nice shops, instead of silence. I suppose that it is a good thing for the town, since it needs the tax money but Asbury, with it’s promises to me of quiet, sand, desolation has gone away. It is strange. I am not sure where to go now, when I want to run away to the ocean and inhale the promise of summer.

Out Front.

After Asbury there was the expected drive down long strips of highway dotted with businesses in various states of disrepair and the obligatory trip to a Jersey diner. Over fried food and big glasses of soda, I people watched and eavesdropped.