The loss of a love
by Brian Keaney
I’ve always wanted a dog, but in the past couple days I’ve been giving it serious thought. I’ve experienced a tremendous personal loss and I could use the comfort that a dog will bring, but I also need something to love now that my Jeep is gone.
My Jeep was totaled last weekend when I came around a corner and into an intersection to find a woman taking a left in my lane. When I took the plates off of it the other day it was like attending a funeral; I’ve been less heartbroken ending relationships with girls than I was knowing that I was saying goodbye for the last time to my Wrangler. After all, at 6 years, 6 months, and 2 days, this was the longest relationship I’ve ever had.
Standing in the shop of the mechanic who towed it away for me, I took a moment to walk around and say goodbye and to remember the good times. It was like my own private memorial service. I don’t think a priest would say a Mass for it, but maybe I can commission a musician to write a Requiem for a Wrangler.
People are shocked when they hear I am now looking at vehicles other than a Wrangler. My mother, who was never a fan of its propensity to roll over or the places it could take me that she would rather I not go, said it best when she told me, “That Jeep was you.” The fact remains that I think the new Jeeps are hideous – the JKs are so big that they look like mini-Hummers. I’m not opposed to buying a used car, but I’m not sure I want to buy a ten year old automobile, even knowing that a Jeep will run forever. Besides, any other Jeep just wouldn’t be the same. They are all great, but none of them are mine.
Then again, this weekend I spent an all too brief period down the Cape. My sister’s boyfriend remarked that if I bought anything other than a Jeep that I would be “miserable down here in the summer.” He was absolutely right. I would be.
I also can’t afford a mid-life crisis car, financially (for the car) or psychologically (for the idea that I might be approaching middle age), but neither can I stomach the thought of driving around in a Camry. I’m not that exciting, and I need my half hour a day in a distinctive and cool vehicle to feel as young and cool as I still like to believe I am. The thought of writing a check once a month for a grocery-getter is just too much to handle.
Owning and driving a Jeep was one of the coolest things about me. People identified me by it and associated it with me. I identified and associated myself with it. My mother says it is now time for a “grown up car,” as if I’m graduating from diapers to underroos or taking the training wheels off my bike. I don’t care what my driver’s license says – I’m not that old and I’m sure as hell not a grown up. Getting anything other than a Jeep would be a blow to the psyche bigger than anything even the coolest puppy could cure.