ocd on wheels

I was chatting this evening with a friend of mine, a writer who also happens to have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, the crippling mental illness that I suffer with. (Mines actually not all that bad at this moment, but I like to exaggerate my little problems so that they seem more significant.) Somehow, we got onto the subject of cars and she mentioned that she couldnt go out looking for a new car in her old car. She worried, I guess, that she might hurt the feelings of the old car. This reminded me of a similar reoccurring worry that I had It makes me wonder if its just me and her that think this way, or if this is perhaps something fairly common within the OC community.

Anyway, heres my story I had this beat-up old SUV kind of a thing that I used to drive. My father’s friend in Kentucky had built the thing with a class full of high school auto-shop students. It was their class project. It was like the Frankenstein of cars. The story was that it was built from two totaled vehicles, at least one of which used to be a 1986 Chevy mini-Blazer. It had the front end of one car and the back end of another, and, like oppositely charged magnets, they didnt get along. I kept thinking that the truck was going to snap in half like a graham cracker while I was going down the highway at 80 miles per hour. It made these creaks and groans like it was already dead, like it was a ghost of a truck. I suspect they could have been the spirits of the people who had died in the various vehicles that it was made of, but it sounded to me like all the bolts connecting it were preparing to snap.

Working at Kinkos, as I did back then, I didnt have a huge financial cushion to fall back on. In short, I needed this car to live so that I could. No vehicle would have meant no job, and I didn’t have money for another. So, I made a deal with it If it kept running until I could afford to get another, I’d see to it that it retired in class. I told it that I’d disassemble it and incorporate all of its parts into artworks. (This was at a point when I was a lot more productive than I am now. It still would have taken years though.) So, that was the plan. The car, Im assuming, agreed. It broke down a few times after that, but it was never anything that I couldnt fix.

Unfortunately (and I still feel bad about this), I didn’t keep my word. I knew about a month before I got rid of it (I donated it to charity) that I wasn’t going to turn it into art. I didnt have the time or the energy and couldnt imagine having to explain to Linette that we had to keep a rotting old truck because Id given it my word. Every time I got into it to drive, I got nervous that it could somehow tell that I’d been lying. I kept worrying that it would flip over and kill me to get even. Of course, I know that was an irrational fear, but it didn’t change anything. I was always nervous about it. In fact, I sometimes still worry that I have some bad car karma stacked up against me.

So, there you have it. I lied to my old truck. I backed out on a deal that Id made in good faith. I had every intention of keeping my word when I said it, but I just couldnt do it. I deserve whatevers going to happen to me.

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