Tuesday, September 11, 2007

No. 0032 - Odometer Time Machine


The picture to the left was taken on the return trip from a Havasupai backpacking trip that Liz, Jen and I took back in 2005. As I was cruising through the Mojave desert freeway going about 80-85 mph, I can see that my odometer was at 29999. I told Liz "quick, grab a camera and help me take a picture when it hits 30000". During the 29999th mile, as Liz stuck her face and her camera between my arms and through the steering wheel waiting for the momentous turn of the digit, she dared to tell me "Stop turning the steering wheel, Patrick!". I quickly rebuked her and reminded her that we are currently traveling at ludicrous speeds and careening off the freeway wasn't exactly a good idea. But sure enough, the picture was taken and a memory was documented. A slight diversion to the story, shortly after this picture was taken, my gas light came on. So here we are, in the middle of the Mojave desert, the sun was setting, we saw nothing but mountainous landscape and no sign of city lights nor signs. To make the long story short, I freaked out, Jen and Liz laughed hysterically and out of no where came the town of Ludrow ("Ludrow, you're my hero!", I've never seen my car fill up 11 plus gallons before). To this day I still remember that little town that saved us from what could have been a horrible death of dehydration and coyotes attack.

As I was driving tonight home from a game of Frisbee, I glanced down at my odometer and saw it barely passed 66000, then I thought to myself how cool would it be if I can fast forward to 100,000? Where would I be then? Or better yet, how about rewinding the odometer and re-live some of those mileage that I've been through. I would rewind back to 20,000 some odd miles when I was driving home 3am in the morning from the Mechatronics Lab, feeling tired, cold and hungary. Or how about at 40,000 miles or so when I was driving through Yosemite Nat. Park trying to drive and look at Half Dome between the trees at the same time. Better yet, at 100 miles when I first got back from my mission and feeling like the sky is the limit yet uncertain about which directions to take in life. As I think back, truly my car was the one object that I utilized everyday (with the exception of vacations). Everyday as I step inside that car and during every mile that I put on the odometer, I did so with a certain state of mind or emotion; in essence, the interior of my car has captured a snap shot in time kind of like a journal. If such a invention does exists, how fun must it be to be able to rewind back and see myself going through those nervous moments before a midterm or those giddy moments before/during a date by the simple dial of the odometer.

Now I'm not sure where I would be when my Honda gets to 99,999 miles. I may be rushing my way to work, or may have children screaming or kicking in the back seat. I'm not even sure if it will bear an Arizona plate anymore (it was surely a sad day when I unscrewed my California's plate). But one thing I know I'll do by the time the zeros replaces the nines, I'll definitely pull aside off the freeway or into a parking lot, take a picture of the odometer and reminisce the past 100,000 miles of memories that has been logged onto my car.

2 comments:

Liz said...

I love this Patrick. I remember taking that picture. It was just bad timing cause we were going around a bend and I had the camera and my arm through the steering wheel...not the safest thing. But we got the picture. We could go back to the time I slept in your trunk at the trailhead to havasupai, or when we were on our way back from San Jose after flying in from Atlanta and we were both too tired to drive so we pulled over to take a nap, or when we switched drivers in Atascadero cause you couldn't make it to SLO, there are so many. We could take Mark's car and go to the time we broke down in Tennessee and spent half the day in that Wendy's parking lot. If you get one of these devices to work, I'll buy one.

Myriah said...

That was beautiful.
Honestly.
I teared up a bit.