RIP "The Van" 1999-2019
Above: "The Van" — Taken by Jonah Kildon
Editor's Note: The following is a eulogy for Jonah's van, which broke down on the highway on the way to college.
It is with great sorrow that I share the news of The Van's recent passing. Although she lived a long life, defying the expectations of many, The Van proved to be no more immortal than you or I. Those who knew The Van will be pleased to hear that she did not pass quietly, opting instead to blow up in the middle of the New Jersey Turnpike. As smoke and steam clouded the windshield, she ignited every indicator light on her dashboard in a final salute before shuddering to a final stop.
The Van was not an easy car to love. Her brakes protested, her door handles were, at times, nonexistent, and steering her in the snow was more akin to sledding than driving. However, these quirks only deepened my feelings of affection for The Van. I felt as though we were not a driver and a vehicle, but equals, each with a distinct perspective on how to drive. Piloting The Van was a constant compromise between man and machine, and I could not have asked for a better partner.
I cannot remember a time in my life without this car, and I feel as though a part of me blew up alongside her on the interstate. On dark and lonely roads, I found home and comfort in the green glow of her dashboard– make no mistake, in losing The Van I have lost a home. The love I hold for The Van is immense, and although her spirit is now confined to the slow decay of my memory, I believe the love in my heart will keep her soul alive.
In the aftermath of disaster, I can only think of the roads I will be forced to drive without her, the highways and byways she’ll never see. Still, I must drive on.
“Caring too much for objects can destroy you. Only—if you care for a thing enough, it takes on a life of its own, doesn’t it? And isn’t the whole point of things—beautiful things—that they connect you to some larger beauty?” -Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
Jonah Kildon is an undergraduate at Tufts University majoring in clinical psychology and child development. He hosts the radio show Probably Birds, which is ostensibly about birds, on WMFO. Sometimes he writes things, and sometimes people like what he writes. Mostly he just writes words, and usually that’s enough.
After graduation, Jonah plans on pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.
Jonah was born in Washington, DC, and maybe he’ll die there, but for now he lives in Somerville, MA.