Therapy in the Form of a Car Wash

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Therapy in the Form of a Car Wash

I washed my car today and I must say I found it to be a fairly religious experience. I have had possession of the Malibu for a good 10 months now and have yet to wash it before today. That includes washing of any manner.

I haven’t bothered to clean off the windshield with the gas station squeegee before, and rarely have I used the windshield cleaner built into the car. In fact if it were a life or death situation and an incredibly angry car enthusiast asked me to clean my windshield or else, I wouldn’t bet on my survival.

If the demand were to execute the task in one try, I’d be a goner for sure.

I suppose it’s nothing to be proud of, this not washing the car thing I’ve dabbled in. Cleanliness is next to godliness they say, and if anyone were to come around and enforce that I’d be the next coming of Lucifer. Even now, I sit on a bench high above a steely, speckled river, sweating and unshowered, yet perfectly content.

So it really is no wonder my car remains unbathed for such extended periods of time. To be fair, this car has received even more harsh treatment than those of the past. You see, not only have I not washed this car, I have gone out of my way to avoid doing so for fear that the car might get the wrong impression and start to believe I fancied it or something.

This is how deep my resentment for the car runs.

Yet today, 10 long months since my begrudging acquisition of it, I could take it no longer. Its pearl colored coat was mottled with gray and black, looking remarkably reminiscent of my old cat Snickers when she’d saunter in after a long day of rolling around in the dirt and chasing dust bunnies.

My daughter’s tiny hand prints and finger traces had painted endless pictures in the grime, and the bottom trim that wraps around the frame looked like a haphazard final resting place for half of the world’s bug population. Something had to give, and it looked like it would be my stubborn pride.

As mid morning melted into the lazy afternoon, I broke down and reluctantly fetched the bucket, soap, and sponges. As the water streamed over the car and trickled down the windshield, I started to become intrigued. Already the gray was lifting and washing away, leaving behind a sparkling opal color I had forgotten coated the surface.

The soap only added to the effect. With the streams of bubbles, the long-time bruises and scars seemingly etched into the paint began to fade away. It was like a rebirth, a shedding of bad memories and the glimmering hope of a clean slate. I had helped my car turn a page, trading in one covered in scribbles and gashes for one as of now untouched, unwritten.

I thought all of this as I scrubbed away the past 10 months’ residue. In a short while I’ll be able to do the same with my own life. I’ll be able to once and for all shed all remnants of a life I led buried beneath the dirt and ashes of anger and despair.

I can reveal the opulence that has long lay buried beneath layers of resentment. I can present a new, shiny face to the world, which will undoubtedly take it and throw some grey in my direction again. But the good news is, I know where we keep the sponges.


About the Author:

Emily is a 20-something recovering perfectionist turned holistic lifestyle junkie, self-love scholar, and nap enthusiast. She has a strong affinity for donuts, Matchbox Twenty, and events whose dress code involves sports bras, yoga pants, and backwards hats. You can catch her taking hikes, curled up with pen and paper in hand, or anywhere frozen yogurt is sold.