Submitted by Amanda Nguyen
My family grows roots. We’re not the sort to turn our lives upside down at a moment’s notice, not the kind of people who willing to drift along on every wind that blows through town. It’s easy to surmise, but I’ll spell it out: I’ve lived in the same square of suburbia for as long as I can remember. As for all the time that I can’t remember? I was brought up from a cooing babe less than five miles away. When my
cousins moved it felt as if the sky was falling in. My uncle hasn’t changed his address in thirty years. We all still vote at the same polling places, community churches, and crumbling schools.
But I must confess, turning the same corner every morning has worn on me. This is a lovely place to grow up, a perfect grid of telephone poles and strategically placed clusters of green, but it’s not a place to stay forever. When my parents immigrated here, I don’t think either of them planned to stay this long. But we grow roots. I say it with all the love in the world, but I think the generation before mine has forgotten how to do anything except stay in one place. Not me, though. And not my cousins, who packed their things in borrowed brown boxes and did not shed a tear as they left. Not my baby brother, who speaks just as eagerly as I do of someday getting out of this place. (As if it was a punishment to be raised here. It wasn’t, but it would be a kind of condemnation, to be required to stay.)
The list of things I’ll miss is not a long one. This is not because I have not enjoyed my time here;
rather, it’s because I know how to let things go. Goodbye, tan plastic playground, farewell, old
weathered stumps. Adieu to my old elementary school, which I drive by on my way to the library. I’ll miss my family, that much is true, but the material things are more immaterial than they might seem.
It doesn’t linger at the edges of my conscience, that I’ll leave shelves full of dusty books behind, or a closet with a hinge that creaks. Mostly, I would be worried about Phoebe. She’s named after the Greek Titan, an ancient deity, of the first generation. Associated with the moon, and the stars, and prophecies. I think that when I named her, I considered myself more clever than I actually was, but the name has grown on me since then.
Not that the moon and the stars have anything to do with my beloved car. I will admit that it’s just fun to say sometimes. Phoebe, the Ford Fiesta, a little silver darling who sometimes struggles on inclines greater than ten degrees and is almost obnoxiously noisy at speeds above forty miles an hour. Also, her windows have to be manually rolled down.
I tend to be the anxious type—I declined a parking spot in my school’s lot because exiting after classes end is the stuff of nightmares—and so it should come as no surprise that I’m terribly worried about leaving my darling behind. She and I haven’t made any daring expeditions together since ten-degree hills are mountain climbs enough for her, but she bears me reliably to work and speech tournaments and science competitions and everything in between. It’s the only thing that might get me to pause and consider staying, a comment slyly slipped in about how I’ll have to leave my car here, in this concrete sprawl.
But I’m determined to go. To go, and make my future somewhere outside of this five mile radius I’ve always called home. I’m also determined to take Phoebe with me. Which, in a less perfect world, would be highly problematic. The closest college that I’m likely to attend is a five-hour drive away, and the campus is contained in what I affectionately refer to as a bubble of a town, or what others would derisively call an armpit. Phoebe is nowhere near roomy enough to be a move-in day vehicle, and although having her by my side would be convenient, it wouldn’t be worth the trouble of driving her down separately. It’s a beautiful drive, but it’s not that beautiful.
This world, though, is the kind that accommodates our each and every need, and so no matter where I go, I know I can take Phoebe with me. A-1 Auto Transport offers complete transparency as to what it would cost to transport her, anywhere in this country crisscrossed by roads. From sunny southern California to the chill of upstate New York, I know I can have her with me, and exactly what it would cost. It’s one thing to be less anxious out as I peer out into the uncertainty of my own future. And I’m eternally grateful, both for the life that my parents built so that I could drive my own car and for the opportunity to continue with her into the future.
So maybe, in six months, I’ll be in Pittsburgh. Or maybe I’ll be in Orlando, or Northfield, or any one of a dozen other places. No matter where I am, I’ll have a safe and reliable option to get there, crossing the country in one swift step, and being able to reassemble my life on the other side. Phoebe. The grandmother of the gods of the sun and the moon, of medicine and of maidenhood, of hunters and prophets. But also: Phoebe. The little car who has been with me through thick and thin, unbearable heat and stifling snow. Who has taken me out of this town, wherever I wish to go and has always brought me back. I don’t want to stay in the same place forever, but I do want the cornerstones of my life to remain rock solid, and with a dependable and transparent service like that of A-1 Auto Transport, I know that I can be sure of it
Submitted by Amanda Nguyen
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