I have determined that my computer is causing the video glitching. If you’re disappointed that all the Helicon videos for the next few months are going to look like they’re possessed, then you don’t realize the real problem is you. If you’d learn how to teleport then all your problems would be solved forever. And these videos would probably look normal.
Now stop whining and watch your glitchy video. The camera worked hard to make this.
Speaking of technology giving us difficulties, this fortnight’s blog-featured reader is Jeremy Gohier with the story “You Always Remember Your First.” Which is about cars. His piece starts at 29:55.
In this story, Jeremy buys his first car and it’s…rusty. Sold because it wasn’t cool enough for a college campus. $500 of transportation. A 1983 Toyota Tercel, which looks like this:
He names it Tracy, and it is awesome.
“A glance at the odometer was enough to turn my head. 90,000 miles. She was as old as I and she hadn’t even breached the six digit barrier. This was not a desperate car on her last legs that someone was trying to make a quick buck off. This car had simply been shuffled around for two decades without really finding a home.”
So Jeremy’s car reflects and complements him. Maybe it’s not the flashiest, not even close, and maybe it’s been rejected over and over. Like Jeremy, and like you. You’ve had places you had to leave, because you didn’t quite fit, because it was time to move on, didn’t you? But Tracy is still full of potential. Miles to go before she sleeps. So Jeremy and his car drive.
And her speedometer doesn’t work. After Jeremy gets a ticket he has to fix Tracy. This is a side-note, but Jeremy, I’ve got a car like this and it scares the beans out of me. Something about looking at the speedometer and seeing that I’m doing 18 in a 40 mph zone. Or 118 in a 35 mph zone. My favorite is when the needle spins between 0 and the infinite black zone, back and forth like an insect’s antennae. The point is, I don’t know how to fix dashboards, and everyone out there who has a functional speedometer should thank their lucky stars.
I hope I don’t get arrested now. If you are a police, please don’t track me down.
Anyways, Jeremy fixes the dashboard. “Getting Tracy to open up to that sort of thing meant gently coaxing her out of layers and layers of overlapping dashboard sections that weren’t exactly designed for easy access…It was more like getting to know someone during a quick change for a dance concert, pulling each other’s clothes off and throwing new outfits on with nothing more than a few carefully positioned curtains between you and thousands of eager eyes…There’s a kind of trust born in the darkness of stage wings.”
With the speedometer back on, Jeremy and Tracy drive and don’t get tickets. Everything is great! Sadly, Tracy is killed by a deer. She sacrifices her hood, which crumples “like an accordion” in order to save Jeremy’s life, but her nobility means the end for her. She goes out “in a kind of slow-motion strobe light effect” as the other cars rush past and Jeremy staggers out to see what happened.
And if that doesn’t make you sad, you’re heartless. But why? What is the one-side-yet-heartwarming relationship between people and inanimate objects? Every benevolent trait we project on them is of our own making. On the scale of relationships, the love of an owner to an object is the most unrequited. Does that stop us? It does not.
Current hypothesis: cars are kind of shaped like animals, and they move, and they cost a lot of money. Therefore we think they are useful pets which we’ve invested a lot of effort into, so we name them and decorate them and love them. But is this relationship worth pursuing?
Um, heck yes.
We learn from every relationship, even pretend ones. Tracy taught Jeremy to recover from rejection, realize his potential, open up, sacrifice, and to forget the flaws of a friend and just be happy to travel with them. Those lessons are real. We can love people who have died. We can love our speechless pets, our siblings who we fought with, our parents who made us leave home, our roommates who never clean. Any love you can give lifts you up, and any love you receive fills you.
Now go learn to teleport so my videos stop spazzing out.
-Jessica, your friendly neighborhood Helicon Blogger