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Friday, December 14, 2007

Car Goes Boom Boom

Clive died today.

I was playing hooky from work, so Mark and I drove out to Lawn Guyland to lunch with his mum. It was cold out but I was dressed for an indoor experience - tee shirt, jeans jacket, thin pants and sneakers. It was just supposed to be lunch and a walk around a mawl. That's it.

What happened was this - we had a filling lunch of corned beef sandwiches, fries, slaw and pickles. And then Clive was found dead in the parking lot, refusing to wake up.

Mark waited for the tow truck, while his mum and I walked the mile down the icy sidewalk to her place. The wind was blowing. Traffic whizzed by. We held hands to steady ourselves. We laughed at how much closer the restaurant seemed by car and how much worse it could have been (if it were raining, if we'd been in the middle of nowhere, if we were in New Jersey).

The flat soles of my sneakers skidded along. She'd fallen and broken her hip exactly one year before. We finally got to her place, then drove back for Mark and then to the Mini Cooper place nearby.

Clive was there, held helplessly aloft on the back of a truck, held steady with two cables. He looked smaller than usual, and a little apologetic. Later, Mark and I navigated his mum's car through traffic, back to Brooklyn.

One day next summer, I'll have to take a photo around dusk, showing the view of New York from the LIE with whole skyline lit up. There's the classic spire of the Empire State Building (tonight its lights were white), the tiered top of Chrysler Building, the jaunty slope of the Citicorp tower. It is a wall of lights and billboards that make New York look like a vast, indomitable monster.

I could see how impossibly big the city could look to someone who doesn't have a foothold already there. It's scary. And it looked bigger tonight without our dear Clive.

Photo by myself of Clive in Lawn Guyland.


mama's got moxie said...

so sorry to hear about your ride, but boy am i glad that clive is an auntmobile!! when i first saw that "clive died today" i thought, oh no, not a major traumatic event right before Christmas!! haha...

Spandrel Studios said...

Oh no! Hope Clive is back on his feet soon... because that car is brilliant!

Carrie Smith said...

Sorry to hear about Clive...hopefully Clive will be rolling again soon!

Christmas is almost here, only 10 days to go. Are you ready?

Have a great weekend
Happy Holidays

Anonymous said...

Awwww poor Clive. Super name for a car. A friend of mine used to name her every appliance - it got very confusing on occasion - when she would say something like "could you just turn Ralf on for me?" Was Ralf the dishwasher, the coffee maker, or her latest boyfriend????

Anonymous said...

I know you don't want to hear this, but that really sucks having a car break down a couple of weeks before Christmas. Hope it was a small thingy...not too expensive. Never thought of naming my car. How does Eustache sound? :-)
Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Tammy said...

Poor Clive!!! I hope he will be fixed soon. I don't know what I would do without my car. There are no buses where I live so I'd definitely be stuck.

Ruvym said...

The skyline is pretty amazing, but coming back from New Joisee this weekend I remembered how much better it was when the WTC was still up. I have a picture of me on the Circle Line Ferry in Fall 2000, the Towers up in the clouds. I used to come out of work at 200 B'Way and feel accomplished just from the fact that I got to work next to something so amazing (even though I was doing relatively menial "dispute resolution" stuff for the AG's office). I'm hoping that it can get back to what it used to be. I see all those lights and I don't think faceless and scary. I think dreams and hope. Still, this can be a pretty lonely place.