Eulogy for a First Car

I met Janet in surprise.

Planted on the concrete of

my driveway when I was 16-going-

on-17 and she was 12-going-on-13.

My Uncle laughed and said

“You’re lucky if you get a year out of it.”

My first car was the color of dried

mud and the interior was stained and

scratchy. She was

well sat in from previous owners who, I can only hope,

loved her like I did.

My first and only car was named


She lost her door handle in the winter of ‘13

her rear-view mirror in ’14

her left headlight in ‘15

her radio buttons, one by one, ’12 to ‘16

We opened her doors with zip-ties and

on the highway she’d jump from tires

that didn’t quite fit. I grew

comfortable driving with

the check engine light lit.

My sweet Janet was a piece of shit.

Survived by a family of

fighters over who’s turn it was to

drive or sit in the front. She watched

all three of us get licensed and grow


Janet, an inextricable character in the coming-of-

age epic I kissed

all of my high school crushes in her seats.

I was asked to prom, the pinnacle of suburbia,

through the drivers-side window.

She sat with me through heart-to-hearts and through tearful

goodbyes and tearful nothings..

Janet, who wasn’t supposed to outlast 2011, grew to the ripe old age of

19 (which is one-hundred-and-two in car years, of course)

Janet, legally a car, but more accurately a half-functioning

bike on steroids.

Janet, with you I was the luckiest girl.

Rest In Peace 1998–2017


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