But She’s Just a Machine

I didn’t even want the thing. My ex bought it. I worked overtime for YEARS to pay it off. Now I’m selling it. Finally.

And I’m sad. Not just a little sad. Tears. TEARS. Over a CAR. Ok, a Jeep. But still…a machine.

I spent last Saturday presenting my thesis. My master’s thesis. A degree five years in the making. I cried a little at the end. Relief and a bit of fear over the future. Those tears made sense.

But this car thing confuses me. Granted, I have heard that GUYS cry over cars. Quick little tears squeezed from the corners of their eyes that they don’t let us see. But I’m not a guy. I know very little about how cars work. I’m intimidated about fixing them. So what is my DEAL?

I guess maybe there’s that Velveteen Rabbit thing.



After I moved to the Midwest to be with my ex, I drove the Jeep to work every morning. Homesick and lonely among cornfields and NASCAR, the Jeep was my friend then, my only one.

I was driving the Jeep when I realized my ex was having an affair.

I was driving the Jeep when I crossed the state line back into Oregon..HOME.

I was driving the Jeep when I started going to poetry readings (to read my poems out loud, for the first time ever), and then to promote my chapbook when it was published.

I was driving the Jeep when I started dating again, navigating through new relationships, making new friends.

This many years into my new life, the one I rebuilt a decade (a decade!!) ago, I think I forgot. I forgot how scared I was back then, being on my own for the first time since college. I forgot what it was like to move back into my own life, reclaim the self I’d given away, trying to be someone else’s perfect something.

So yeah, I guess, maybe cars can be real. When they are the body that carries us through fear, loneliness, and meeting ourselves again for the first time in a long time, then maybe they are real.


Jeepie’s Second Life

If I had processed all this yesterday, I would have asked more for the Jeepie when I listed her on Craigslist.

Within two hours of my ad going up, I had three calls, two emails, and a guy standing in my driveway with a roll of cash in his hand. They are going to lift her, give her big tires, and take her out adventuring.

I hope they are kind. I told the guy who bought her: Be good to her. He promised. But I felt guilty, so I made him promise again. And again.

And I was grateful for that guy thing, the quick little tears that we don’t have to mention.

Goodbye, Jeepie, and thank you. I hope you like your new life as much I like mine.

6 thoughts on “But She’s Just a Machine

  1. This line…I forgot what it was like to move back into my own life, reclaim the self I’d given away, trying to be someone else’s perfect something… Yes!

    May Jeepie have fun in her new life.

    Also, how did I not realize before that we live in the same town?

  2. Beth, I understand! The feelings you are having are normal-probably even healthy:-)

    I cried off and on for several months after finishing my Master’s. I was a jumble of emotions. Sometimes crying for no reason. I was struggling with some family issues at the same time and everything felt HUGE and Major. It was so anti climatic for me…since I had just got this MA in Educational Technology to advance myself for the classroom….and I was not going back into the classroom, I was probably going to stay an at home mommy….so did we waste all this money and time and stress …so I could be home 🙂 lol

    It took a few months, we sold the house, moved, found a rental, got settled, and I started looking for online work that would let me be home.

    Now we homeschool, bought a new house, moved and am working contract jobs that for the most part suit me and our lifestyle. I feel like I have finally begun to be able to live out my purpose in life. At least my purpose for the next 10 years. We will see where life takes me after Eli is ‘grown’ up:-)

    Hang in there. Be patient with yourself. Don’t fight the emotions. I wish someone had told me this last Feb 2012. Smile, hold your baby!

    Love you!

    • Thank you Shannon! Your comments are a good reminder to me, to extend some compassion and grace to myself during this time of transition and change. How quickly I forget that life lesson (I seem to be learning it again and again). Love you!

  3. I never thought a blog post about a car could make ME feel teary…but this one has done it.

    Reclaiming your own self. That is a powerful thing.

    • I never thought I’d write a post about a car! Thanks for your comments, Tracie. I love your blog!

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