Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Wayne Memorial Letters

Wayne is the only man I will ever truly love. He was my first car, and he was beautiful.

It wasn’t just his three different paint colours and cow-spotted furry roof that made me fall head over heels for him. This was a car whose headlights would suddenly fail at midnight on the highway, whose passenger door would swing open unprompted when you turned a corner, whose handbrake would fail while parked in the driveway so that he rolled down into the street, whose bonnet would fly up while driving, completely obscuring your vision. This was a car who wanted to make your life interesting. Even people I’d never met knew his name. 

I was devastated when he finally went to the great car-yard in the sky, and at our old house I had a memorial wall in his honour: but here, the problem of the Blu-tac prohibition again reared its ugly head. Luckily, I had cardboard letters of his name in the boot of my car, where they’d been sitting soaking up petrol fumes for the past year and a half.

I decorated collage-style with different memories and souvenirs – it had to be messy and haphazard, or it wouldn’t be Wayne. (Really, leaving them to be crushed by oil containers in the boot wasn’t enough battering. I should have set them alight, put out the fire by soaking them in the bathtub then buried them in the backyard for six months.)

When Lyndon and I went to stay with a friend for the holidays, her son presented me with a card upon our arrival that contained his dire predictions regarding whether we were likely to ever make it home again.

His sister was equally cheerful. 

Dear Rach - I did not draw Wayne on the front of this card because I knew he would have spoilt it for you.

His predictions thankfully did not come to pass - this, however, did. 

The rest of the Y was also decorated with various recollections of mechanical failures and a photo of the corresponding part. (I could have decorated an entire alphabet with this.)

 Even the tops got some love. 

Others were taken from emails I'd sent years ago. 

Many of the memories are happy ones, but many of them also make me want to clutch my wallet to my chest protectively.

The now-teenage author of the Lyndon-pushing-Wayne card was recently talking to his mother about whether money could buy happiness, and pointed out that owning a Ferrari would make you fairly cheerful. “Do you think any car could make Rach happier than Wayne did?” she countered.

He was silent.

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