In 2011, about 18 months after my divorce I was getting new tires on my Escape at the dealership and outside the window I was sitting by in the waiting room was a shiny red car. A beauty. It had dealer plates on it and I asked one of the sales guys if it was for sale. He immediately got stars in his eyes at my question and replied that it was just traded in that morning.
I then asked if I could test drive it and within minutes we were taking it for a spin. That was all it took for me to spontaneously decide I wanted to get a fun car. That’s how I got my 2004 Mazda RX8.
It wasn’t necessarily because I was having a mid-life crisis, because I’d already done that. It was more a statement of “I can do whatever I damn well please!”
It took me a while after my divorce to figure out life as a single girl. The car was a symbol of my independence and success. I didn’t need a man to help me buy a car. Or to help me decide what I wanted from life.
The car was fun, and for the most part, a good decision. But it was also high maintenance. I guess that’s because of the rotary engine. The last of its kind for a reason. Cheers to the Wankel!
But I didn’t care about the potential problems. I drove it to Denver and never worried about the reliability or the engine. I also used it to drive my Z and I to Des Moines for the one and only real dive meet she ever participated in. I could not really drive it much in winter because of the rear wheel drive and low clearance so I got as much fun out of it as I could the rest of the year.
I fell love with Matt and he seemed to enjoy working on things that needed repairs. He was kind of into cars in that way so it worked out. We replaced the sparks and wires when they went out and I got good at charging the battery and checking the oil. The car always needed something. There were always indicator lights lit up on the dash.
I sort of lost interest in taking care of stuff when he and I split and my life went to shit in 2016. And there it sat for a good long while.
A good long while that ended yesterday. The car has been taking up garage space here for almost as long as I’ve known Jim and has not been operational for most of that. We didn’t really need it and it’s not a good car for any of the kids, who are now all old enough to drive. As such, garage space is at a Premium and we made the decision to sell it. As-is.
We spent about $600 getting it operational again and knowing it needed about $1000 more to bring it back to tip-top shape (with no guarantee the Wankle won’t go out tomorrow), we just wanted to be rid of it. So yesterday I drove it to CarMax.
I was only the second owner and the miles were low (66500) for a car that’s 16 years old. No accidents and super clean (good gravy I sound like a car salesman). But all that adds up to a big fat check that will probably feed my poetry submission habit for a good long while. That’s my plan.
Deposit those funds in my single girl checking account which I had named “freedom checking” when I opened the account after my divorce 11 years ago. My little safety net in case something happens in my life right now. Because, folks, you just never know.
Anyhow. So that’s that. My backstory for this bright Thursday.
Last night Jim was busy with other things and I decided to treat myself to a Little King sandwich for dinner. My own personal celebration of the independent life I have now left behind. I jumped in our 2001 Jeep with the big tires, picked up my sandwich, and headed west into the red-orange sunset. It was perfect.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen the sky that color before. The pictures just don’t do it justice. The sky behind the trees on the horizon made them look like they were on fire. I drove until it was dark.
That’s it. Full circle. I hope you enjoyed this stroll down memory lane as much as I did.