HST 344-1 Heitmann
Inside my car is my favorite place to be.
I love driving. But I’m also very fond of sleeping and showering and eating but my bed, my bathroom and my kitchen are not my favorite places. There’s more to it than just the placement of my hand on the wheel and my foot on the gas.
A lot of it has to do with being in control. I wouldn’t call myself a controlling person; I am a person who likes to be in control. The difference, though seemingly subtle, has to do with the influence I have on other people. I will not try to control you. You make your own decisions. I just have to be in control of myself and the situation that I am in. If you’re involved in that situation, then, yes, you may feel the force of the control I’m exerting. I’m not trying to pull you along; but if you jumped in the river knowing you wanted to go upstream but you’re not strong enough to swim against the current, that’s your problem.
In my car – Caliente, Cal for short – I am completely in control. I turn the wheel.
I am also in control of my environment. NO eating in my car. NO ONE who is not related to me drives my car. (I don’t share well. Any of my friends will attest to this. Maybe it’s because I’m the youngest child. Maybe it’s because I’m naturally a brat. Either way, Caliente is mine and you are not sitting in the driver’s seat.) NO sitting on my hood. You better not slam the damn door if you know what’s good for you. My car, my rules.
And then there’s the independence. The fact that, given enough road and enough gas, I can go anywhere I want to, all on my own. I don’t need a passenger. Sirius radio keeps me company just fine. As long as the asphalt treats me well, I’ll respect it. It’s a mutual agreement that works out much better than most of my human-to-human relationships. Analyze that how you may.
My car is my place. I can sing too loudly. I can pick my nose. I can scroll through the seven colors of ambiance lighting to pick the one that best matches my outfit. And you know what? Cal won’t judge me. You’d think that a relationship with a car would be strictly physical (I wash him, I “feed” him, he lets me sit on his lap), but my attachment runs much deeper than that. Caliente isn’t just some guy who touches me and asks for nothing in return. Contrarily, he isn’t obliquely needy in a way I can’t or won’t satisfy. When he needs something, he is able to tell me through a single illuminated icon. I provide. He shuts up. No argument, no hurt feelings.
When I’m driving, I feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself. I was on the highway recently, at night, with no one ahead of me in sight. As I descended a hill, I looked in my rear view mirror. And behind me, following the guidance of my taillights was a team of cars. It seemed, for a second, not just that I was my own leader, but capable of leading this fleet of others to whatever surely incredible destination awaited us. And I could do it because I was in my favorite place.
My relationship with my car may be abnormal in the eyes of some. I may appear, regardless of my denial of it, to be a complete control freak. However, others’ judgment doesn’t matter to me. Because Cal doesn’t care.