Threat of new car brings back old memories

Since I turned 16 years old, I have treated my car like a toddler treats its family dog.

I’ve taken years off its life by being as predictable as Kanye West.

Zack McDermott, sports editor

When it was tired and needed a break, I pushed it harder than a packing camel.

Yet, in the end, it’s been as loyal as man’s best friend.

With our days together numbered because of an intrusive 2000 Chevy Impala, my car has taken on the traits of the dying dog – it lumbers around, but not without its zestful spunk.

I never understood the connection that people had with their first cars until my parents sent me a a picture of my new ride a week ago.  

Now when I see my 1998 Chevy Geo Prizm in the Harborview apartments’ parking lot patiently awaiting its next trip, feelings of regret, sorrow and joy flood my limbic system.

I can’t help but wish that my sister and I wouldn’t have run The Geo into the ground or that I took it for a wash more often.

Maybe if I went only 80 mph on I-79 I could have added a couple of years to its life.

But, then again, I don’t want to remember my first car through hypothetical situations.

What I should’ve, would’ve, or could’ve done shouldn’t muddy any memories I have of that hunk of metal. 

The Geo, whose name stuck because of a lack of suitable alternatives, was a present from my parents shortly after I turned 16 as they realized – after riding with me for six months on my permit – that they in no shape or form wanted me around their cars.

With fewer than 25,000 miles on it, the Geo and I figured to be partners in crime until I was 80 years old or Joe Paterno retired – whichever came first. 

Throughout our five years together, The Geo never complained when I cursed it out for not playing my CDs when it got too cold or hesitated when I demanded it blow the doors off the out-of-state driver who refused to go a hair above 55 mph.

It served as a trusty chauffeur during my high school graduation, senior summer and first three years of college as well as for some R-rated adventures.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic to move onto cruise control, leather seats, and power locks and windows.

But there was a charming touch to The Geo’s lack of luxury.

We roughed it together, and that means something.

So, on our final trip back to Pittsburgh together for spring break, I’ll make sure to enjoy the ride, play my favorite music and savor the last memory.

No matter what math teachers say from here on out, in my geometry there will always be a heart next to any Prizm.

ZACK MCDERMOTT

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