A car tells its story

What can I tell you? I'm beautiful. I'm fast. I'm strong. I've covered enough miles to go around the world twice, I know every sidewalk café in my hometown and I've given a lift to the strangest characters you would ever want to meet. A taxi? No, and I'm not a truck, either. It would have been nice to be born a Bugatti, but I wasn't. I'm quite vain and don't like to talk about my age. I love it when my skin shines in the soft sunlight and when my round headlights sparkle and my top gets folded back.

Now I've given myself away, haven't I? I'm a convertible, a real beauty, red with black leather seats (I prefere to be colourful). I feel timeless and elegant in the midst of my sleek nieces and nephews. My heart beats nonstop with six cylinders and I've got 145 horsepower under my hood. You should have seen my owners when they cruised through town on a soft summer night or took a jaunt through the countryside. Proud as a peacock! Men, women - they were all head over heels in love with me. They whispered sweet names in my ear, told me their deepest secrets, kissed me tenderly and caressed my warm metal curves. What a strange species I ended up with!


Photo: Hardy Holte

One of them, a certain Hardy, a psychologist from the Rhineland in Germany, decided to get to the bottom of our intimate ties. One day when we were out on the road together he told how deep his feelings for me were. And as if to prove it, he threw caution to the wind and floored it. That was one of those moments that I wished I were a bicycle or a streetcar. It was even worse when he drove around with Max, an nosy colleague who had a talent for posing terribly indiscreet questions about man's primordial urge to drive. He was seldom completely satisfied with my owner's answers. It was as if they only had one thing on their minds: men and cars!

Fortunately, while being forced to listen to all this high-flown nonsense for weeks, on end I was able to pick up a few interesting tidbits. There actually seem to be people who think we are nothing but sex objects. What nerve! Is that what our race boils down to, just a lust object? They can't even decide on our sex! Some see us as a gigantic phallic symbol on four wheels, others as a voluptuous woman. The really perceptive ones suspect that we are actually hermaphrodites, sometimes with more female, other times with more male sex appeal. It's no surprise, then, that the Jaguar E with the unmistakable bulge on the front of its long chassis and its soft lines and rounded curves in the back is lusted after by both sexes.

Jaguar E4

Picture: copyright Pfrang117 - Fotolia.com

But the sheer audacity of it doesn't stop there. We've also been compared to wombs on wheels. They say the soft rocking of our suspension takes humans back to feelings they experienced in the earliest phases of their development. I carry you like an embryo, they say, comfort and protect you utterly, and cradle you like a baby. Supposedly I wake the child in you so you forget to act like a grownup. They also say that I tempt you to try to get away from it all: from yourself, from others, from noise, stink, crowds and stress, or even boredom. Some accuse you humans of being incapable to enter into a close relationship because you shut yourself away and refuse to talk things over. They say you'd rather take off with your metal friend than stay at home and work out your problems.

Others say you're power-hungry and inconsiderate on the road, that you're always ready to fight with anyone who wants to curb your freedom, with anyone who's faster than you, anyone you don't like, anyone who wants to steal your time. They compare you to the mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll, transformed into the reckless, evil Mr. Hyde by a drug. And we are that drug, they say: we intoxicate you and rob you of your senses. We make you act like a devil, an animal, a baby on the street. Already they are saying that evil has four wheels and a motor that burns fossil fuel. We are the devil in person!

crazy driver - fury in the road

Picture: copyright Ottoflick - Fotolia.com

How awful! How humiliating! After all, who freed you from the stubbornness and frailty of horses and gave you freedom, prosperity and happiness? Or do you really think we are just the voice of the serpent tempting you to your downfall? It's obvious that they want to drive a wedge between us, my friend. Can't you see how sly they are about it? Almost every night somebody on cable TV is trying to convince you that you have a disease - the love between man and car has to be sick, they say. Or maybe you think these people might be right after all, and that our kind prefers to hang out with psychopaths, neurotics, depressives, fetishists or the sex-crazed. Whatever. You can see for yourself that our fates are one. Whatever people accuse me of reflects on you as well. Whatever they say about you goes for me, too. We're in the same boat.

So what happened to my researcher-driver, you ask? One beautiful summer he left me in the dark garage for a few days. I almost thought he had fallen ill or had gone crazy from thinking too hard. When I finally saw him again he looked terribly pale and had dark circles under his eyes. In a low voice he finally confessed that he had begun to write a book on what driving is all about, and that he wanted to tell about the bond between man and car and how it all began: locomotion, running, riding and driving. He was totally possessed by the idea of finding out the causes and effects of our mobile society. A few days later he submerged again into the world of books and the Internet. He hardly went out and shockingly neglected his friends and family. The topic of mobility damned him to motionlessness in front of the computer screen. But why should I go on about it? I'll just let him tell you himself what he found out.