Over a year ago, I had a conversation with my neighbor…. about his precious pride and joy possession…. his automobile… a brand new convertible. He said he had owned it for over 6 months, and had yet to drop the top. I told him that was a crime, and that I wanted him to take me along on his first convertible drive with the top down. I made him swear and promise and described how amazing it was going to be when we cruise down PCH (Highway 1) along the ocean, sea-salt air whipping through our hair, surfer girls stopping and staring, and how everyone will be so jealous when they see us.
Everyone has their golden calf idols, I suppose. Cars were never it for me. I just don’t care about them, or lust over them, or fantasize of what dream ride I could be driving, or how my life would be immeasurably complete if only I had a certain car.
Every month or two, I would remind my neighbor about our awesome bucket list adventure we were going to have together, and how I was ready, and would say, “Let’s go right now!” He would always have an excuse or some other plans that could not be changed, but would reassure me that the day was coming that we would gloriously ride into the sunset.
A year has passed, and a few days ago I ran into him again… once again, I mentioned the exciting thrill we would definitely have if we spontaneously took off in his car with the top down. He declined again, and it ONLY NOW occurred to me… he has NEVER honestly ever wanted to do it. It was never his plan. He somehow thinks he is preserving the re-sale value, or that he’s keeping it in perfect condition by NEVER dropping the top down.
This is the equivalent of collecting Star Wars figurines, but never taking them out of the vacuum sealed display case to play with them, to make sure they stay in MINT condition.
Man, you have to live a little. Break the seal. Jump off the cliff. Play with your toys! Hop on a plane to another country without any plan. Be spontaneous and impulsive. Freefall without a parachute. Do scary things. Play your stereo too loud. Go barefoot sometimes.
It’s so heartbreaking. I keep rooting for him, hoping he will someday bust out of his shell. Break some rules. Be a little careless. Perhaps this is my life purpose, my mission, to coax some light out of him. Lead him to water. Teach him to fish. I must not give up.