a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

sunday setup 9/30/12: car stories

< by Jill >

My first car had a shiny black chassis and grey leather seats. The front half had a flat, rounded snout with rectangular headlights. The back half had a half-moon shape that curved down into a hatchback.

I loved that car. It almost always felt warm, and it had a delicious earthy smell—a mix of lemon and toasted bread.

It endured brutal Minnesota winters and brutish Illinois drivers, delivering me through high school, to college, and into the real world. Then, after eight years of dutiful service, it broke down.

Despite multiple repairs, the car never fully recovered. The seatbelts didn’t retract as quickly, and the pedals didn’t register pressure as acutely. Dents and dings multiplied, and the cost to repair them outpaced the car’s worth.

Eventually, it felt abusive to subject my dear car to another winter of street parking in Chicago.

So, I returned the car to its homeland. My dad found a new owner who could house it and love it anew. Today, whenever I see a Hyundai Elantra GT on the streets, I smile softly and think of all the adventures I had with mine.

This week’s stories are all about cars, starting with the beloved Hyundai described above. The stories cover various topics—first kisses, road trips, run-ins with the law—but each entry owes its intrigue to the vehicle that made it possible.

Buckle up for an unforgettable series.

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