Thursday, 17 May 2012


i wake from dreams of rust
i have booked volky into the garage
for he has been acting strangely of late
protesting a little too much
woodle climbs into the back
for her lift to kiddie prison
i put volky in reverse
depress his accelerator
nothing happens!
i try inching forwards to test if normal drive works
and the gears engage
if i can push volky up the driveway
we should be able to make it to the garage
enlisting the help of mrs fireseed
plus mum, dad and the postman
we heave volky out onto the road
but shifting our trusty volkswagen proves difficult
my revs are not reaching his wheels
the power is draining away somewhere in the distribution chain
we amble along at a pedestrian speed
crawl painfully up a steep hill
and are faced with the terrifying prospect
of crossing the bristol road
in the face of a stream of rush-hour traffic
a38 navigated
an emergency traffic light forces us to lose momentum again
as i plan my attack on the next hill
the revs get louder and noisier
until the needle on the dashboard leaps to 60000 rpm
and i see smoke emerging from the bonnet
just like in a breakdown scene from a film
as we come to a halt
there is a sickening finality to it all
i feel like icarus flying too close to the sun
it suddenly occurs to me
that just like every human being
every car is destined to wind up in the same place
an automobile graveyard
volky is towed to the garage
pronounced terminally ill with a ruptured gearbox
and escorted back home
to be carted away imminently to the knacker's yard
chance has it that some korean friends of ours
are selling their own car at a rock bottom price
and hours later i am driving the as yet nameless vehicle home
i park it guiltily on the drive
in full view of volky
whose pride of place has now been usurped
by an oddly similar dark green saloon rival
younger and fresher
and a hundred thousand miles less travelled
glancing from one car to another from an upstairs window
i am struck by the unflattering contrast
the graceful sweep of volky's heavy but well proportioned curves
next to the clumsy profile of his superficially similar successor
like a well bred shire horse
standing beside a common cart pony
to bed i go with a heavy heart

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