The joy of having a car; be it your first, second or tenth, is a joy unlike any other. Perhaps it’s the joy of mobility that derives from the ownership of a car. Perhaps, it’s something more primitive such as the joy of security on your various everyday journeys. That just might be it. Protection. Survival. To not get killed at the first impact of a crash. Funny though, for us to buy that form of protection only to protect it as much as we can from protecting us. No dents, no scratches and, ideally, no crash whatsoever. The ideal car to many is one that looks just like it did on the first day it was bought. Ironic.
Yet, in our protectiveness of the car, we deprive the car of something great – intimacy from its own kind. Have you ever walked to your car in the car parks of some shopping mall and see lines and rows of cars parked ever so close to each other and think, so close yet so far? I have. And I can’t help feel lonely at the thought. Heart wrenching.
Cars go about everyday seeing one another on the roads, the streets, off-road, across bridges and more. But that’s all that they do – see but not touch. For to touch another of its own, regardless of how much they love that other one, it brings about damage. Even if that touch was done with the greatest amount of tender loving car, it would only result in a scratch, a dent and, essentially, hurt for the other. That’s a tough life to go through. The deprivation to express oneself is a pain beyond the definitions any physical form of pain. Worst of all, cars go through this simply because they are the victims of circumstance. Not by choice.
When I’m in a car and not driving, I look out the window and look at the other cars that pass by, thinking of the many cars out there yet each as a singular entity, never in pairs or groups. Cars. They exist in plural yet they live single. That’s loneliness in its essence. And as if the irony isn’t enough, cars often have on an expression. Mostly, they look neutral, bar the few that look emotionally extreme.
I see the grill, the bumper, the headlights and everything else that forms that face of a car and tell myself, that’s just the you shown for our sake. What about the you inside? Perhaps one day, I’d be fortunate enough to find a car that will tell me. But for now, I shall sit by the curbs and stare at parked cars. Not to find a car willing to tell me its feelings but to perhaps catch that one secretive moment when a car touches another car even at the expense of a scratch or a dent and say well done. For trying to reach out even if it hurts. For having the courage to not be a willing victim of cruel circumstance.
P.S – Perhaps that’s where the dents and scratch that you never knew what happened came from. Don’t frown at it. See the other side of that physical contact – a tender touch between two beings that will always hurt one another.
Precise yet unpredictable. Confident yet insecure. Self-doubting yet self-assured. Dickson lives in a constant paradox, finding both comfort and torment within his thoughts.