Hellmachine and Me

I’m sitting here listening to the Wugazi album (which you should have if you don’t already), and I am feeling a kind of unkillable joy.

I bet that you want to know why.

I imagine that what I felt around my neck was something like a millstone. It was so heavy, and it constantly bothered me, and sometimes I just wanted to let it sit with me. Sometimes I would let it paralyze me. It would root me in place for days at a time. When it wasn’t doing that, I depended on it. Maybe it wasn’t a millstone. Maybe it was like a painkiller.

In case you haven’t figured it out, and I can’t imagine how you would have, I’m talking about my car. Well, I’m talking about the car that I had until yesterday, when I was finally able to see it off to be destroyed in some terrible way.

It was a 1992 Volvo, a beast of a machine purchased from an aging white man. The first time I drove it, the fuel pump didn’t quite work. After trying to start it for something like thirty minutes, the guy selling it to me told me to take it for a test drive down the street. It jerked forward in quick spurts. The guy I took with me to look at the car kept saying “whoa” under his breath. It was the most terrifying drive down fifty yards of backroad that I have ever attempted, but in the end, I bought that car. The guy fixed it, and a few weeks later I drove it across town at middling speed with no insurance.

Despite my feelings about Hellcar now, at the time it was a boon. It took me around. It had heat and cool, even if you couldn’t turn them off, and it would turn over and drive 99% of the time. But as the seasons rolled on, it became less and less reliable. I was stranded places for a few hours here and there. I would sit in an incredibly hot or stupidly cold car and just wait for it to cool down or warm up.

It probably didn’t help that I did as little as possible to maintain it. The service light would be on for weeks, but I thought that had a lot to do with the fact that my fuel pump was wired directly to a switch on my dash that simply said ON/OFF. If I had Vin Diesel’d off a bridge at 70 miles per hour I could have hit that switch to OFF right before I hit the ground to prevent the car from exploding into flamedeath. Of course, it probably could have done that at any time, switch be damned.

I can’t think of a single positive thing about it. Good riddance to the Hellmachine and everything that it stood for.

The most beautiful sight I have ever seen was that green beast chained to the back of a truck.

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