BYOB, Bring Your Own Battlith. I think this will underscore all my party invitations from now on.
My sister Kelli flies out of Houston for Wales tomorrow. She left me her car. It has a working air conditioner, a CD player, and better tires. But it has no name.
I haven't driven it yet, for two reasons. First, I'm afraid if I stop driving Elvis regularly, he'll finally croak his last. I feel guilty. He's taken me so far and he's still running great. I couldn't have asked for a better, longer-lasting car. Well, I could, but I'd be hard pressed to find one. His mileage is still actually fairly low.
Second, it seems almost callous to drive her car. I know it's better on the car to drive it, but my sister treated her car like her sanctuary. A very messy one, mind you, but that was because she kept everything in it. Little trinkets from school and friends and "shit mix" CD's she'd make that had a little bit of everything from her wide array of bad musical taste.
Kelli's car was kind of like her retreat. It was her ticket to freedom, like so many teenagers. She could smoke in it away from the scolding of watchful parents. She took care of her friends by giving rides. She was a work-a-holic who spent all her spare time out with friends. Her only hobbies were bowling and driving and spending time with friends.
But Kelli's sentiment for her car is easier for me to understand when I compare it to my room and my journals. My room was always my sanctuary. I'd hang on to scraps of paper with little doodles or quotes or stray pieces of thoughtful writing and pin them to the wall underneath a bit of ribbon and an empty bag of Japanese snack peas.
My journals are the same way: haphazard scrapbooks of ideas with bits of string and pictures tucked between the pages. If you poke your head into the spare bedroom (my napping, art, and sewing room) and the office and even up and down the hallways, you'll notice random things I've stuck to the walls. I use my living space as a canvas. I could make it look more like Trading Spaces, but I don't. It's my space.
And Kelli's car was Kelli's space. I know she's already missing it. And my first instinct is to bag up all her stuff and stuff it under my bed. I prefer a clean, empty car. Borrowing her car for nine months is strictly functional for me, a more comfortable drive, a campus parking ticket I don't have to pay.
What's funny is that while Kelli and I are both homebodies to an extent, I've always been the traveler, the explorer. Elvis has always carried me to adventure and romance: roadtrips and new places I'd never been and visits to boyfriends far away and friends all over. But he stays empty so I can fill him with luggage or people.
Kelli's car is just an extension of her home. And by Friday morning, she will be very far away from home, indeed.