I sent Jon this text today:
Happy 9 yr dating anniversary and LOST day!
I think we both agree the anniversary is inferior.
Do you remember back in June when the Aztek wrote me a letter professing its odd, almost obscene attachment to Firestone Auto Care? (That's more fun than admitting Firestone wrote a letter to me masquerading as the Aztek.) Anyway, I was reminded of that letter when we dropped the Aztek off at Firestone for an oil change this afternoon. I imagined the Aztek's excitement at the sight of the familiar garage bays; doors outstretched, grill grinning from headlight to headlight, and the urge to press the gas pedal all the way to the floor, stumbling in the indecision to remain calm or let the insane happiness and relief shine through.
Funny, how true it must have been.
Jon and I dropped the Aztek off and went about our business in my emotionally detached Focus. We stopped for lunch, shopped for a new shower curtain and liner, and just as we were about to embark on an always annoying trip to the grocery store Firestone gave us a call, all but begging us to have more work done than just an oil change. Apparently the front passenger side wheel bearing was shot to hell and the wheel was liable to fall off at any moment. The Firestone employees were so adamant about the repair that they offered to call a tow truck to have it dropped off at our home if we weren't willing to pay the $289.00 to have it repaired today. They didn't want the risk of our driving it home to remain on their conscience.
If you remember the Aztek's love letter then you probably remember my reply in which I chastised the Aztek for being so partial to Firestone when National Tire and Battery (NTB) had been giving the Aztek quality oil changes and had purportedly repaired the front passenger side wheel bearing in May. This new discovery has forced me to retract all hurtful accusations I've made toward the Aztek's prejudices, and admit that the SUV was right all along. The Aztek knew what it was talking about--it knew where the real love was.
Fortunately for Jon and I, there was still a guarantee on the work done at NTB but they refused to pay for the towing costs. Firestone, knowing that we would drive it the 8 miles ourselves, fearing for our lives and the Aztek's plastic front bumper, agreed to fork over the money for the tow, knowing that we would be returning to them for all future car repairs and proving that the Aztek's love was requited.
I imagine the Aztek's heartbreak at being forced to go elsewhere when it had finally been returned to its one true love. I imagine the agony it felt even when Firestone's lovely garage, smelling of oil and rubber (roses to a truck, I'm sure), made an attempt at consoling him, saying it is only for the best, and that they would be reunited again soon. Love is never easy after all.
What does all of this mean for me? Well, finding that the Aztek wasn't a lovesick loon after all means that I am, once again, the sole head case in our little family. Although Jack does make me wonder sometimes...but I think my own loony behavior is just rubbing off on him.
Dearest Benjamin Gibbard,
Like most of my past relationships you showed up in my living room as a friend of my brother's, and like most of my brother's friends I ignored you until you said something of interest—you mentioned the stale taste of recycled air and I saw it as a sign of true potential. That's when I stopped talking over you, pretending you didn't exist, and I began listening to what you had to say. You found your way into my daily rotation. You turned the tables and used my own mind games against me. Each time I resisted, even slightly, you threw more poetic musings at me, reeling me in faster, forcing me into submission with the promise of knowing me inside and out. You were deep, and I like deep people, but I could only offer you friendship, nothing more, and you pretended to be okay with that.
The next time I saw you I was at a Halloween Party. You waited until I was drunk, passed out on the living room floor and vulnerable before you slunk out of a dark corner dressed as a cab driver. Even intoxicated I was able to recognize your voice behind the costume and I told you so. You laughed and told me I was cute when I slurred my speech. I swooned. At that point you grabbed me, hook, line, and sinker, and I've been flapping my fins ever since, gasping for air but never getting enough.
I love you, or I guess I love your words. It's like you reached into my chest, grabbed hold of my heart and every memory I keep there and turned them into shiny compact discs with alternating names. You appear randomly, sometimes the cab driver, sometimes the mailman, but either way you're delivering something, usually poetry that makes me love you more and makes me love myself less for being so powerless against you. But I always recognize your voice. I always recognize your words. And no matter how much I resist you keep pulling me closer. You are the drug causing my emotional instability and that makes you dangerous, but even in knowing the truth I don't want to end my addiction. I'm not sure if it's my heart that makes your music beat, or if it's your music that's beating my heart. Either way, I can't take that chance.
P.S. My husband knows all about you and this letter. He thinks you're just a phase. I'm hoping he's right.