Talking Car

Not long after the runaway-van dream, I had a daydream triggered by a guilty conscience that went like this: I had an on-and-off relationship with this girl I’ll call Lisa. Once when I went to visit her, knowing she was angry with me over some stupid thing I had done, I parked my car in front of her apartment building and went inside. As I approached the front door, I heard what sounded like my horn honking. I got the funny feeling that something out of the ordinary was about to happen. I turned around to see the car pulling out of the space I had just parked it in and driving slowly up the street WITH NO ONE IN THE CAR!

I ran up the block screaming after my car. The car stopped about halfway down the block, sat there for a few seconds, and then backed up to where I was standing. The passenger window rolled down, and MY GIRLFRIEND’S VOICE!! said, “You don’t know how to treat me, so there’s no need in me sticking around. Have a nice trip home.”

My mind raced. First of all, who or what was speaking to me, and then, what do I say? I decided to play it as if it were Lisa I was talking to. I said, “I’m sorry, I did something stupid, I shouldn’t have, and I won’t do it again.”

“You say that all the time,” Lisa’s voice said again.

“No, but I mean it this time,” I said. I really did mean it, though I didn’t particularly enjoy having to tell my CAR this.

“Uh-huh. When you go upstairs you’re going to forget all about this conversation, aren’t you?”

*Wait a minute,* I thought. *When I GO upstairs? Who’s driving away with my car, if it isn’t Lisa?* I didn’t see how I had time to worry about that; if I didn’t satisfy whoever-this-was that I’d set things straight with Lisa, I’d have to take the train home and explain to people that my car had left me.

“No, I promise. When I get upstairs, I’ll set things straight with, um, with you and we won’t be having this conversation anymore.”

“Good,” the voice said, “because I’m getting tired of all this on-again, off-again stuff. Either we’re together or we’re not. Agreed?”

“Agreed. Now can you go back where you were parked?” I wasn’t sure just who/what was responsible for all this, but after all it was my car I was actually speaking to.

The car returned to the spot, but just before the window rolled up and the engine shut off, the voice said again, “If you don’t do what you said you would do, I won’t be here when you come out.”

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