I hated living on campus during my undergraduate college. I am an only child – I’d never shared a bedroom with anyone in my life. Well, save the two horrid summer camp experiences, which were something else entirely.
As usual, I digress …
My dad was highly annoyed when I announced that I would be moving off-campus my junior year. His response was something like, ‘Good luck with that, no car and all’ (as mentioned in yesterday’s episode, he’d sold my Harold). I scoffed and went on with the plan. My roommate had a car and was willing to drive me since we were going to the same destination (university and the apartment). Some days, I walked a mile (yes, from our apartment it was uphill but only in one direction … let that sink in for a minute) to the bus stop, which was tons of fun in the snow and ice of winter. I did it for quite some time with no complaints outside my own head.
Seeing that I would not be thwarted, my parents bought me a car for my next birthday: a 1986 Honda Civic hatchback who was promptly named Sven.
To say that I loved Sven is an understatement. I felt like I was driving a tank-sportscar all the time. I had him when I met my first husband and it was Sven that kept me sane. By this time, my college roommate had moved out and he had moved in. But before I digress, back to Sven.
And then it happened.
Sven stopped working. It turned out to be his timing belt. Off to the shop just down the block from the apartment.
Days turned into a week. A call and the mechanic assured me that they were working on things; they’d disconnected the timing belt. A couple weeks pass and I called – no answer. The husband called – no answer. We walked down to see what was going on, only to find the shop, boarded over. As it turned out, a man was there, taking notes. I asked him what was going on and explained my car had been there for repair. ‘Seems the engine of a Honda caught fire and burnt the place down. Total loss,’ the man, a claims adjuster said.
I burst into tears. ‘My car was a Honda, but the engine was disconnected!’ I said. ‘Where is it now?’
‘The police impound.’
We returned to the house and climbed into the other car we’d procured by then, a four-door, four-speed Buick Skyhawk. It belonged primarily to the husband, so it had no name.
The impound was around the corner and when we pulled up to it, I burst into tears again: there, sitting on a pile of sand, was what remained of my Sven. He was no longer burgundy, his tires were gone, and all the glass was blown out. He was a gray husk. There are no words for the loss I felt. Fortunately, there was insurance, so I was able to get another car. If fortunate is the word to be used …
Tune in tomorrow for Not What I Wanted …