Where I write

Where I write

September 25, 2012

I Left my Heart in St. Louis

I had a three day love affair when I was in St. Louis last week. Though our time was short, I will never forget the days we spent together. We got lost. Then we found where we needed to go. We went fast and played the music loud. We saw things we had never seen before and went places we had never gone. Before I say any more promise you won't tell the love I left at home. The one I've been loyal to for all these years:

My 1996 Nissan 200 SX with manual transmission, sun roof, and 156,000 miles. I even love the little dent in the left front panel. My silver Nissan and I have been together since the day I first drove it off the lot with just three miles. I've taken good care of my Nissan, and I never thought I would look at another Nissan again. Oh I had brief affair at a car show a few years ago with a Camaro, but all I did was sit in the driver's seat. Sure I lusted for it, but I didn't even turn on the ignition or touch the knobs. Yes that is a smile on my face, but I knew this was just a brief fling. Camaro's are fickle. I know. I used to have one.
So imagine my surprise when I fell in love on a blind date. I was set up by a busy Hertz counter clerk. She handed me the keys and at first I wanted to cancel.  The car was so tiny! Too orange-red. Too boring and economical. Not at all sexy. And it had prior history -- 46,000 miles, a lot for a rental car. This car had been driven by a lot of strangers. I wanted something bigger, newer, richer not a small car. It was late, and I had a long way to drive to my destination. I'm glad I kept our date.
We had driven only a few miles when I began to feel as my Versa and I had met before. It liked me. My Versa went fast. I like to go fast. It appreciated my curves. It used little gas. I rolled the windows down and drove up and down the rolling hills of Missouri, through the farmlands of Illinois, by the Mississippi River. I sang with country radio stations, and classic rock and roll, and put the pedal to the metal. The Versa liked the same music as me! It took the open road like a champ. We navigated together through unfamiliar, to me at least, St. Louis with only an old fashioned map, and a lot of road construction, without a scratch.
I went places I've never gone before with any other car. This is an island on the Mississippi. If you look hard enough you can see the house in the back is on stilts as the island floods. It was an isolated place, so green, windy and the river made the ground moist. I saw no people. It was just me and the Versa, but I was unafraid. I knew the Versa would keep me safe. I wanted our time together never to end. I wanted us to be on our own little island.

We crossed over the Mississippi together and admired a barge pushing cargo up the river. What a magical moment it was for us both.

Oh perhaps just for me, as my Versa didn't even seem upset when I returned it to St. Louis, to the arms of another driver. I'm back with my Nissan 200SX. I think it might have known about my days spent with the Versa because yesterday the key didn't want to turn in the ignition. I assured my car that I'm back now, apologized for straying, and said I won't be leaving again. Still, a girl can have her memories.


Rita A. said...

I love this post but not as much as you did the Versa apparently. I feel the same way about my Kia, but that's another story.
Great to hear your "voice." I've been missing you.

Connie Flynn said...

Reading this was a great way to start my day. I've had a love affair with my car, too, but it's getting up in years and miles. I'm afraid to even think of buying a new one while I'm around it for fear it will get jealous or I'll hurt its feelings. Amazing, they're almost like trusty little steeds of days gone by.

P.S. I must confess I've been flirting with a snazzy red Kia Soul lately. Tsk.

Anonymous said...

Ooooh, yes we had a cute Versa once in Long Beach, CA and I still notice them now when I see them on the road here in Phoenix.

Hope you used birth control....

Love, Tracy

(cute post!)

SunsetCindi said...

I'm not a car person but this post makes me wish I was, absolutely delightful!