This thing. I am still completely flabbergasted. It’s been sitting in the police impound for 13 years. It was stolen in August of 2006. They recovered it not long after. September, October somewhere around there but still very much the year 2006. It was flawless when they brought it in. The thief ran out of gas and ditched it less than 30 miles from where it was taken from.
Noah always assumed they dumped it somewhere close by, but when we went looking for it we went East which seemed the most logical direction to take it since getting to a remote dump site was quicker if you went East. Our genius thief went WEST directly into the heart of the suburbs. It was less than 10 minutes away from my apartment. It was literally sitting in my practical backyard all things considered but Noah and I never found it. The police eventually found it (kudos to them) but misfiled the paperwork and never got around to notifying me that they had it. As far as I was concerned the car was lost forever. I never thought I would see it again or if I did see it again I never expected it to be in decent shape.
Fast forward THIRTEEN DAMN YEARS and just when I’d almost forgotten about it all together: BAM. The police department decided to clean out their impound lot because they’re renovating their jail facilities and need to move it across the campus.
This has been a lot to process emotionally. Not only because of the associated trauma of losing the car during an armed robbery, but finding this snap shot into my life. Like I know everything I recounted in my memoir is true because I lived it. Until this car reappeared I never had anything left from that clusterfuck part of my life aside from random trinkets and pictures. It was pretty much Noah’s memories vs my own as far as the depth and significance of our relationship.
And then I got to see the car filled with remnants of our life together. My journals, baby names we argued over during my first ill fated pregnancy, two baskets of his laundry, CDs, boxes of the trading cards he spent so much of his time on, utility bills from our apartment together, from my own apartment after he left for school, old MapQuest directions to random gaming stores…. so many other little things that didn’t matter in the midst of our intertwined lives suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks.
I want to call him and celebrate finding this car. I want to punch him in the face for being with another woman when the robbery was taking place. I want to hug him and cry the same way I did the night it was stolen and feel the security I did in his arms. I want to scream at him for being such a coward and trying to deny we ever had anything more than a casual relationship when this car is clearly evidence of the contrary.
All of his things aside from a few random CDs were ruined when the back window shattered leaving them exposed to the weather. I have no reason to contact him, and I won’t. He’ll hear about it I’m sure either via this post or from an old friend I talked to and reminisced with. Noah will probably rant about it, deny it, and call me crazy for being emotionally invested. He’ll claim he doesn’t care and stew about it for a while. He’ll probably look at the pictures because he’s curious and then he’ll move on like it, me, and this entire fiasco never happened.
Sometimes I envy him for being so emotionally detached to everything. It’s part of the reason he was abusive, but in circumstances like this it’s not fair. I’ve learned to cope, and compartmentalize in a healthy way over the course of my PTSD recovery. This incident won’t haunt me forever like it would have in the past. I tossed the journals after I took a few pictures, and everything else I left with the car.
The insurance company paid it off ages ago so it’s up to them to figure out what we’re going to do with the car. It may be destine for the shredder, and with it all the remnants of my life in 2006. I’m not going to fight for it. I’m glad I had the opportunity to see it, but I won’t be sad to see it all go either. I signed the retrieval rights over to my dad.
If we get to salvage it he’s handling everything until we can get the title transferred to Indiana. Hayden was looking for a little 5 speed coupe to restore and keep him occupied this winter. Finding my old ass stolen Cobalt wasn’t exactly what he had in mind, but hey if they’re giving it away we’ll take it. It’ll be a great metaphor honestly. Hayden taking this old ass broken car full of my Noah’s decrepit junk and turning it into something beautiful again. Kind of like me.
To read more about the robbery, how I lost my car, Noah and our relationship click the link below for Candy Apple Butterscotch: A Memoir. Paperback and Kindle versions available now. Audiobook coming soon!
Copyright: R. MacCeile 2019