I have a Saab. It is a thing of beauty. I have washed it more times in the last month we’ve had together than all of the other cars I’ve had put together. It has “turbo 16 valve” written on the back. I think it still has 16 valves or maybe 15, but the turbo is more an item of ballast than at item of power boosting these days.
One of the reasons I wash it so much is that the American birds find the beauty of a silver Saab somewhat unsettling. They fear it. It has a laxative effect on the birds. They sit above the Saab in terror on low branches while they empty their bowels of fear. Bastards.
The Saab is equipped with a tremendous sound system. With my Saab plugged into my iPod, we eat up miles of tarmac, getting lost without really worrying about it. My Saab and I wait in anticipation for the rising bass whoops of the Aphex Twin’s “Milk Man”. The reproduction of these sounds is a testiment to the quality of the Saab’s set up. We often find our way to our destination after enjoyable detours. It’s Texas, so we like to drive in the afternoon. The only way to drive a car in the hot weather is to have the windows open and the sun roof back. Which is why I don’t care that my air-con button is more decorative than functional.
I like the times we have together. There is a serene peace that can be attained behind three of the five wheels of a Saab.
So I was driving to get some results of a check for sexually transmitted diseases on a hot Thursday afternoon. People seem to be quite open to talking about such things over here. Someone brought it up at a barbecue the very next day. Their test results, not mine. While I was on my way to get the results, I found myself making some modest preparations for finding out that I had something treatable but not curable. I thought to myself that if I found out I had a sooner-than-average rendezvous with a bald man with a scythe, I would live out my remaining days differently.
I got my results, and my Saab and I were together again. I had thought that in case of illness I would run out and buy myself a really fast Porsche. One of the 911s with the twin turbos and all-wheel drive, so that I could get from the drive-through order point to the collection point in record time. What was I thinking? Firstly, I should be savouring every day I have, no matter what the circumstances. Secondly, driving fast cars is dumb. Thirdly, driving fast cars is fun, so it doesn’t matter how dumb it is. And finally, I already have a beautiful car. With a little love and attention, the turbo might be more than just a badge on the back – it might rise like a phoenix from the glowing metal embers of the broken turbo under the bonnet. That’s the bit I haven’t figured out yet, but it’ll come.
My results were fine.