This past Sunday evening was a strange one for me and some of my fellow Hoyum Floor 2 residents. We attempted to go see “The Dark Night Rises” at Moorhead’s Safari Value Cinema, but the theatre’s old-timey projector self-destructed a few scenes in, and we were given free passes as an apology for the inconvenience (We soothed the hurt of not seeing Batman by going to Buffalo Wild Wings, so the night wasn’t a total loss.) What was interesting about the evening was the vehicle we cruised around in: our floormate Jason “Scooter” Neumann had driven his car back after spending the weekend in his native Foley, MN massacring the local wildlife, and he insisted we experience it (the car) firsthand.
I had heard stories before of the Vehicle’s endearing awfulness; these were no preparation for its reality: a Ford Escort (whose color is either “maroon-ish” or “sassafras”)
with two doors, automatic seatbelts, and a big, jagged empty space in lieu of a rear bumper. But the Vehicle’s defining characteristic was, without a doubt, its soundsystem: Neumann’s sedan is possessed of what may be the greatest subwoofers known to man; the terrible-ness of their sound is surpassed only by their skullcrushing volume. Once we realized the woofers’ immense possibilities, we spent the remainder of the evening’s drive time experimenting with the bass-iest songs in my iPod, seeing which ones created the absurdest level of low-end thump, with varying degrees of success in a strange sort of bonding experience.
It occurs to me now that Jason’s relationship with The Escort is not unlike that of a long-lasted marriage: he’s spent enough time with the Vehicle that he looks past its flaws and sees only memories– he sees everything he’s been through while driving it. As fellow Hoyumite Alex Gray said to Jason from the backseat: “Your car smells like my uncle Bob.” That’s the smell of experience.