Monday, October 27, 2008

Mercury Sable 1995-2008 R.I.P.

Three weeks ago as I was driving down Chapman Highway in Knoxville, smoke began billowing out the hood of my '95 Mercury Sable. As I drove, my efforts to accelerate by stomping on the gas pedal were met with a small voice coming from Sable. 
Sable looked up at me as we slowly lost speed, 
"Taylor, I have always loved you. Thanks for the...the...the good times." 
"Sable, why are talking like that? Stop it! Don't you die on me. YOU BETTER NOT DIE ON ME!" 
"Taylor, you have to let me go."
"What am I going to do without you."
"You'll find a way a way, Taylor. You'll find a way."
"Sable, I'm so scared... Sable? SABLE!!!!" 

And there we sat in the parking lot that I steered her into at the last minute. I held her in my arms sobbing as I shouted to the heavens, "WHYYY?"

I first met Sable in 2003 during my sophomore year. She was a gift to me from my grandfather who passed away that year and said I could have the car. I drove her back to Knoxville from Virginia, and we hit it off immediately. Sable and I went through a lot together through the next five years. 

She was once operated by three of us at once. Tyler steered. Clint worked the windshield wipers, and I pressed the gas. That's how many guys it takes to keep us alive when the driver decides it would save time to pee in a bottle as opposed to pulling over. 
She giggled as I kissed dates goodnight. 
She blushed when I told the cop I didn't know how fast I was going. 
She pressed forward from Atlanta to Knoxville when Charlie and I talked about whether or not I should return to Johnson or go to ACC. 
She was respectfully silent when I would pray to God on late night drives. 
She accepted my apologies when I broke off door handles and chunks of upholstery from loading and unloading guitars, amps, and drums. 
She sang along when I wrote some of my songs by pounding on her steering wheel and singing loudly.
She was good. She was real good. 

Well time passes and I finally reached a point where I felt like I could start seeing other cars again. I looked over a few sitting in various car lots. Eventually, it worked out that some friends of mine from Virginia found me a car at retail price: A 2003 Cavalier with 5,700 miles on it. Nothing too flashy. Just my type. 

I picked her up today, and as we drove down the highway in awkward silence she finally cleared her throat and said, 
"Sooo... my name is Cavalier." 
"Hey, Cavalier. I'm Taylor." 
"You wanna listen to some tunes?"
"How's the White Stripes?"

I think I'm in love. 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lars Becomes a Man

If you haven't seen Lars and the Real Girl, you should certainly consider renting it. Now, I turned down my good friend, Betsy, for months as she incessantly demanded I watch it. However, I finally caved and rented it one night when I was home alone. The conclusion I came to is that Lars is definitely incredible. 

I know its been out for a while, so you've probably already watched it. I'm just late in getting around to talking about it. But still, I don't want to ruin it for anyone. 
I will just say that Ryan Gosling who plays Lars does an incredible job of capturing a perfectly innocent man losing his grip on reality. He finds love in strange places, and forces his older brother and sister-in-law to cope with his mental breakdown. 

There is one beautiful scene when Lars' asks his older brother, Gus, how he knew when he was a man. Gus, who is has been fed up with Lars for quite some time, finally relents and answers the question. Suddenly the two begin to see each other for who they are, and feel a love for each other that only brothers can feel. 
I think Gus nails it on the head about what it means to become a man: 

Lars Lindstrom: I was talking to Bianca, and she was saying that in her culture they have these rites of passages and rituals and cermonies, and, just all kinds of things that, when you do them, go through them, let you know that you're an adult? Doesn't that sound great?
Gus: It does.
Lars Lindstrom: How'd you know?
Gus: How'd I know what?
Lars Lindstrom: That you were a man
Gus: Ahhh. I couldn't tell ya.
Lars Lindstrom: Was it... okay, was it sex?
Gus: Um. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's uh, yeah, yeah it's kind of - it's uh - no. Well, it's kind of sex but it's not uh, you know? I don't know. I don't know. It's - uh - good question, good question.
Lars Lindstrom: Yeah, but I have to know
Gus: [dryer buzzes] Hold that thought.
Gus: [in basement] You know, you should ask Dagmar
Lars Lindstrom: I did ask Dagmar. And she said that I should ask you.
Gus: Okay, you know I can only give you my opinion.
Lars Lindstrom: That's what we want
Gus: Well, it's not like you're one thing or the other, okay? There's still a kid inside but you grow up when you decide to do right, okay, and not what's right for you, what's right for everybody, even when it hurts.
Lars Lindstrom: Okay, like what?
Gus: Like, you know, like, you don't jerk people around, you know, and you don't cheat on your woman, and you take care of your family, you know, and you admit when you're wrong, or you try to, anyways. That's all I can think of, you know - it sound like it's easy and for some reason it's not.