Wednesday, 12 February 2014

"Let me be your ford cortina...breathing in your rust..."- J. Cooper Clarke

Today no one really has second, third let alone forth hand cars, but our family always did.
We never had a 'good' car- we had functional rust buckets and now there's only mum and me left and we still only ever have a veteran banger. But in the days where everyone seemed to have older cars, people would have understood more of what i mean if I were to describe the sort of car you often got and called a 'nail'. The nail was the car that forever had problems. Caused you reams and reams of bills from the Mechanic, who's pockets got heavier and heavier with your money until you finally get a new car, it breaks beyond repair, is taken from you by the police as 'un-roadworthy'....or maybe just blows up and kills the owner...

I am more than a Nail.

I am the motorists worst nightmare.

If I were a car.....

I'd be a Vauxhall Carlton (go google if you're lucky enough not to remember this old shittip).

I trundle the road with a dry, hoarse rasping engine. The dull exhaust shakes and wheezes smut as the labour of even a flat road takes its toll. The screen is blurred with smeared glass, like the eyes of the old; misting over and cataracted. The tear ducts dried out from lack of use and left untended, unfilled, no water is left to moisten the screen. The wipers may occasionally attempt a tired, stuttering sweep, but it is in vain; the dirt is sunk into the glass by now.

The wheel arches show the worst of the rust damage. Flaking, dry skin that stains fingers orange at the lightest touch and crumbles away at anything heavier. Age and weather have done damage beyond redemption, and below the crusting cliffs of the arches the wheels roll. Most of the tires have run bare. Bald surfaces threaten grim fate to the driver on any surface less than perfect asphalt. Metal whiskers have begun to show on patches of some, forcing through the papery skin. One has punctured completely. No one has bothered to replace it soon enough for it to be worth doing now. Besides, the rim has been bent and malformed from being driven on through the flattened rubber; you'd never fit another tire onto it now. Soon the axle will break from the juttering pressure...


Stench... festering piles of litter carpet the moulding floor in heaps. One thing turned to five, turned to ten turned to a mat of garbage slowly decomposing itself along with the surfaces it eats into. The upholstery is ominously stained, telling tales of past journeys and disasters. Hernias have never been seen to, and grey-brown guts fluff out of the splits and holes which pepper the seats and backs. Mildew creeps over the damp fabrics, dotting in its own dun rainbow.

The whole vessel is freezing and full of sweetly moist air. Seals are rotting away and only remain in peeling, hanging tatters so that the wind whistles in and out again like a ghostly song. Sun visors swing on their broken hinges, mocking the possibility that they would ever need to be used; no sun will ever permeate this poor beast again. The glove compartment rattles and eventually drops open, like a dead man's jaw, gaping, toothless.

I am this hideous pile of rust and rot. Cruelty keeps me from being set alight. Some demon possesses me and grinds the ignition every day even though with each  turn of the key I protest and weaken a little more, convinced that I cannot awake a next time; but I always do, only to snake along the same roads, always the same roads every day on weakening axles and a god defying fuel tank.


1 comment:

  1. I am currently sitting here in tears. You have seriously moved me. The last paragraph. The way you feel about yourself; it breaks my heart. You could not be any further from the truth. I wish so much that you could see the Katie that everybody else see's the kind caring funny beautiful katie. Not the personified Vauxhall Carlton. There is not a car in the world that I can think to represent you, to show how special you truly are. Cars are just bits of material thrown together. You are a person. Moulded by your experiences. Full of talent and ambition other people couldn't dream to have. You are caring and thoughtful and have the biggest heart and the warmest soul. You are truly beautiful inside and out. And also unlike the car you are not stuck in that form, unable to be fixed until you are written off. No way. You are strong and courageous and have the strength to overcome everything that life throws at you. You are not deemed to fail. In fact I have every reason to believe that you could succeed in anything. I believe in you katie. Please try to believe in yourself, if only a little bit xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx