CHAPTER ONE, Summer 2008: The Sign
I was on break from college. Most of my free time was spent making out with guys from MySpace (lol) and drinking blush wine (lolol) with my friend Denise while we danced around her apartment to that year’s hottest mid-tempo sex jam: “I Luv Your Girl” by The-Dream.
My car died in August, so one day Denise and I took a used 2001 Nissan Maxima for a test drive. Seconds into the trip, “I Luv Your Girl” came on the radio. We looked at each other with mouths agape; it was a sign! My dad bought the Maxima for me a week later. His only request was that I drive carefully and try not to crash it.
CHAPTER TWO, January 2010: The Drama
Naturally, I crashed it a year and a half later. The accident was technically my fault — the road was icy and I didn’t give myself enough time to brake as I approached a line of cars, thereby prompting me to spin out of control and into a guardrail — but it was also not my fault at all. I had just broken up with my boyfriend and was extremely emotional that morning! So in a way, he was the one to blame.
CHAPTER THREE, Summer 2011: The Country Sojourn
My first two semesters of grad school at NYU made me loathe New York City, so I decided to move to Nashville for two months. My friend Fran accompanied me on the drive down, during which we sang along to angry female country songs and made zany/genius puns out of the names of people we went to high school with.
Even with a crash in its recent history, the Maxima rose to the occasion. The only issue was that Nashville is hotter than a bitch during the summer, and my A/C was broken. But it was fine! I left the windows permanently open and developed a healthy relationship with the sensation of being drenched in my own sweat.
CHAPTER FOUR, Summer 2012: The New World
I left NYC after grad school and began a new life in Connecticut’s Fairfield County. Surely I will need to upgrade my car now that I live in the suburbs again, I thought to myself as I packed my things. But I was wrong! The Maxima carried me — to and from football games, dates, mountain excursions, etc. — for three more years. While my friends all settled into adulthood by purchasing fancy new cars, I still drove around in the old clunker I’d had since sophomore year of college.
CHAPTER FIVE, Present Day: The Descent Into Hell
I knew shit was gonna go down once I moved to New Jersey last fall. The Maxima had just celebrated its 14th year on earth (and 7th in my own negligent possession). The odometer was at over 230,000 miles! The end was clearly nigh. But still: I invested in a parking spot at my new apartment building, daring fate to prove me wrong.
I continued to drive my car around the tri-state area for nine more months, and then the exhaust started smoking and making weird noises. Getting behind the wheel soon became an anxious exercise in mentally ruminating on my own mortality. “Is today the day I break down on the George Washington Bridge, resulting in a fatal pileup and the possible collapse of the entire structure altogether?” is a question I got used to asking myself on the weekends. The guys at my garage said it wasn’t worth fixing. I drove it a few more times, though, until it finally bit the dust last week.
And given all that we’ve been through together, I’m a little emotional about it!
Rest in peace, my Maxima. You were always there for me. You loved me. You moved me (literally). *Grabs a bottle of moderately-priced champagne.* Now allow me to pour one out for you as I listen this YouTube video of “I Luv Your Girl” on repeat.