I met Mac on a sullen, dreary and foggy Saturday. It was unplanned and unexpected. When I walked into the wide grey-painted building with a shiny roof, I had no idea what lay ahead of me that day.
I had woken up rather expectant after several correspondences from a representative who had assured me no matter what my situation was, they could accommodate my means. For good measure, I had sent over every detail I thought would be important for this transaction, to which she reassured I had nothing to worry about. So I knew no matter what the events, I was coming home with something new. Old but new.
I had succeeded in convincing my cousin to join me on this adventure as this was the very first time I would engage in a deed of this nature. I was a rookie and didn’t understand why my cousin and I had been in there for almost 3 hours but where no were near accomplishing our goal. The paper work was endless – one questionnaire after another, the questions seemed ridiculous and the number of references required – outrageous. It’s not like I was signing up for the FBI or CIA and needed all this vetting. I was only trying buy a car. Heck, I wasn’t even in a Maserati or McLaren dealership, it was a USED CAR sales center.
After five grueling hours of torture which included informing pretty much my entire contact list that I was buying a car because they were my reference, it was time to go check out the sea of cars on the lot. I had no idea what I wanted or what kind of car even appealed to me but once I stepped out, there it was, staring at me and calling my name – a shiny silver Jeep Liberty.
I circled the car; caressing it’s body and feeling every line and curve about it. I hopped in and sat at the wheel, smoothing my hands over the steering wheel over and over as I looked around the rest of the car. It was very clean for a used 2003 car and had only 63k miles on it. What a good previous owner. Instantly, I aspired to be like them albeit the fact that I had no idea who this previous owner was. My cousin and I went for a test drive and we both agreed, it sounded good. We returned and finalized all the necessary agreement. He was coming home with me.
On my way home, I thought about a befitting name for him. I smiled at the thought of Trip. He was my first car, a 1999 Mazda Protege I had sold a few weeks prior. He was named after one of my favorite actors Mathew McConaughey’s character in ‘Failure to Launch’. Me and Trip had been through it all; road trips, naps, lunches, dinners, spent a few nights together and got in minor scuffs. He was my ride or die – until he literally started dying on me on every other drive. It was time for a change.
After a few discussions on the ride home, we both agreed on Mac – short for the “Mc” in McConaughey. I said a prayer and asked God to bless all future endeavors with Mac. It was three years of pure car bliss, he broke down just twice in those 3years and they were all fixed under warranty. With Mac, there were even more adventures than with Trip – there were interstate road trips, I modeled the previous owner and cut back on eating in the car to reduce it getting soiled, we had therapy huddles and mad jam sessions, he even had spa days. Boy was he spoiled.
Then two weeks after I paid off the loan on him, it happened.
The night sky was dark with barely visible stars unless you were using a space telescope and the sun peering glumly from where it was setting some 30 minutes earlier. The clouds hovered above, thundering and threatening buckets of rain as opposed to the measly droplets of the afternoon. It was 9:30pm on a gloomy summer Saturday night to cap off a pretty uneventful day.
I sluggishly came to a stop at the red light and as we waited, ‘Love You Die’ by Patoranking boomed through the speakers and my body succumbed to the rhythm. Mac blasted the song to his loudest decibel while I contorted to it as best as the space would let me. The opposing roadway lights were changing, so I got ready to take off any minute, still in sync with Mac.
The light changed green and slowly, I proceeded through the intersection. We had the right of way, ‘Go’ on green straight through on either side; turning signals on ‘RED’. I saw IT barrelling towards me midway, thinking to myself, “surely, it would slow down” but it didn’t. Panic washed over me, my eyes widened beyond their muscle strength wondering if it this was actually happening. There was barely anytime for reaction amid the loud CRASH.
“Ma’am are you ok?” “Ma’am get out of the car”
I heard distorted and frantic voices. Someone helped me out of the car to the side of the road and informed me of the 911 call he’d made. They all circled me, asking if I was ok and thanking God it wasn’t as bad as it sounded.
As bad! Mac! Anguish, sadness and anger seized me at once when I stood up to peak at him after parting the crowd. He was twisted and crumbled and missing parts. This was not my Mac. We had had a life together – for three years. But this is where it all ended – on this Marietta Street on May 20th, 2018. I would see him one last time at a Marietta tow yard, looking disheveled, gnarled and abandoned. I was hurting, especially since I had just paid him off. I fully owned him and nobody could ever try to take him away from me. I had not even received the title yet.
Such is life I guess. We had a good run, I said my goodbyes and told him how glad I was of the time we had together.
So Long Buddy. You’d always be my second favorite car. RIP Mac.