You were a sleek black beauty when I picked you up from that slightly run down garage in Brockton that sunny August morning in 2005.
Sure, you had a little mileage on you, but it was far less than what the 1994 Chevy Corsica I was driving at the time had.
And you had an intact paint job, which was more than I could say for my dented and faded Corsica.
Our relationship was troubled at first. I had driven American cars for so long that I had grown accustomed to their low center of gravity, heavy steel frames and sturdy suspension.
When I opened you up to 60 or so on the highway for the first time, you seemed to shake and shimmer a little too much. Immediately I thought that I had been ripped off, that your suspension had been shot, that you had been in an unreported accident, that I would have to take my case all the way to the Supreme Court.
But cooler heads eventually prevailed. The car was fine.
For a few years, you were a gem of a car. Your tan interior stayed pretty clean, the car itself smelled pretty good, and we even got a Sirius Satellite radio working in there for a little while.
But time and age caught up with you after a while. First there was the battery that exploded right after I lost my job at the newspaper.
Then there was that unfortunate incident in the snow where I was the only one stupid enough to try driving into work, and the only one to forget to keep riding second gear in the slippery snow once I got close to the house, and the only one to smack into a nearby Chevy.
I ended up crushing the headlight housing on your front passenger side, but our lightweight fiberglass front end did no damage to the heavier Chevy.
Then there was the jackass who grabbed and twisted your antenna into a permanently bent shape one night, for no reason other than that fucking with people’s cars has to be expected in the city.
A couple of zipties got us back home to Somerville, but not much further.
And finally, there was the infamous water pump incident. The pump died on the way to work, sending you into instant overheat mode. Together we just got to the garage before your engine blew.
That day, the mechanics fixed you up for a ton of money, but on our way out of the garage (one of the muggiest days of all time) the pump fell right back off again and it was another mad scramble to get back to the garage with the needle pinned on “hot as fuck”.
I then had to run through a torrential summer downpour to catch the train back home.
But even though we had our ups and downs, you were a good, solid car.
You kept me safe on the roads. You were there to help me take my dog home for the first time, to help my bring three shrieking puppies from Medford to Walpole when the shit hit the fan at my apartment.
And most of all, you hung tough during the 110-degree day when the two dogs and I drove back from the Cape last summer.
A breakdown in that kind of searing heat with two dogs in tow would have been a challenge to say the least. The words “panic-inducing” and “full on freakout” also come to mind.
But I have a new Nissan now.
A 2010 Versa with the same black exterior. It drives like you and feels like you. It’s almost like you got a facelift and a mileage reduction.
But there’s no room in my life for two cars.
The tow truck came on Friday while I was at work to pick you up and send you on your way.
The next stop for you (sadly) is most likely the scrap heap. You need new brakes and your odometer doesn’t work and changing out your directional light is harder than most surgical procedures.
You are gone, but you are not forgotten.