Beauty Pageants My Ass

“Measuring a summer’s day, I only finds it slips away to grey,
The hours, they bring me pain.”

-Tangerine Led Zeppelin

I can listen to this song about halfway through and have to turn it off, it’s one of those songs that just stab me in the chest with some sort of lyrical spear that cannot be overcome by just changing the song. Something about the tune, the concept, and the overall reflection of life in general haunts me. “And eI do….” Those damn lyrics, and then that killer shredding solo, it’s something that sticks with you even after the song has been over for hours. You hear those words, you hear that guitar, and you feel stuff, your belly fills with this weird acidic stuff, and you realize that music moves you more than you’d ever thing.

Same thing happened as I was on the phone, “Dog Days are Over” came on, and although I’m not a Florence and the Machine fan, my eyes were welled with tears and I had to turn the damn thing off. I was caught in the moment, the song swept me away and I was transported into an emotional abyss that I wasn’t prepared for nor did I want to adventure into. The power of song, no matter how stupid it is, can alter your mind body and soul. I hear “Dog Days” and I wanted to immediately get up and punch stuff and get rowdy, only because the song made me mad. “Tangerine” came on and I wanted to curl in a ball and weep in the corner. It’s not just music that can transform the people we are, but anything that can strike a chord on our souls.

Working in a Pharmacy, you hear some shitty music, and when you work with people, you get to know really quickly what music sets people off. For me, I went off the deep end when Dave Matthews Band came on…I still hold a very serious grudge against them for the whole shitting on tourists in Chicago incident…the Pharmacist went off the deep end when the “Milky Way” song came on (not sure exactly what the hell he was talking about, but it changed his demeanor to happy go lucky to grumpy). A simple change in audio can change the perspective of life that much, what can a simple change in physical surroundings do to a person.

This is where I introduce the “real” me, I’m a humble girl from Wisconsin trying to make it through life without screwing up too much. I have very simple tastes, I like my cheese sharp, I like my beer cold, and I like my cars red. Simple, if I were to summarize myself I’m simple, and that’s where “Senna” comes into play. After killing two cars in a row – I acquired Senna, a Honda Civic. Am I a “Civic person”, not really. Do I love that freaking car? “Fuck yes”.

Here’s the deal, I was living in a pair of shoes that would never fit me. I wasn’t a high class girl, I wasn’t really a low class girl either, I was average. Put me in a line up with about ten other 30 some odd year old females I’d probably just blend right in with the masses. There isn’t anything special about me, and really, I was trying to compensate with some sort of flashy car to make up for what I lacked in flashiness. It was the car though, not me, that was the attention getter. I was riding on the wings of a plane that wasn’t mine. I wasn’t being true to myself, and really, I was in a position that I didn’t feel I deserved. Getting a Honda Civic seemed like a totally demeaning step for me, I was stepping away from the fancy German cars that I had in the past.

That concept was absolutely bogus, and for me to even admit to feeling that way is ridiculous. The fact that I bought a Civic is probably the proudest moment of my life. For once I put all of that trivial “look at me” nonsense aside and took a practical look at life. I needed, wanted, desired something that I could obtain a long term relationship with. I wanted to have a long history of roadtrips, crying fits, thrashing songs, and random mishaps with a car. I wanted a car that would be resilient to me, but also understand that I’m a bit hard on cars at time. I got a 1.8 liter, I got a two door, I got a manual, I got a car that to most people is probably the most impractical car in the world.

True story, I blew a tire and needed a quick replacement. I had to wait an extra hour for the extra technician to come in to drive it into the shop because all the macho men that were attending the shop didn’t know how to drive stick. Times like that I thank my past for teaching me to drive a stick, but at the same time I curse the past for addicting me to such a monster.

It’s a Honda Civic, and to most people it’s not a “cool” car. To me, however, it’s everthing that I’ve ever wanted in a car, it makes me happy. I might not be able to keep up in super fast traffic, I might not win beauty contests, but at the same time, me as a human can’t do that either. I can’t keep up on a track running on my own two feet and I wouldn’t even qualify for most beauty contests. That’s why Senna the Civic and I get along so well. We’re both sort of, well, average, and we’ll blend into the background as much as possible. It’s not worth being front and center anymore. The attention that I once craved is curtailed by the desire to be just another car on the road.

“In my mind I still need a place to go”

Neil Young

There is always going to be a part of me that feels like I have to drive a fancy car, and there is also a large piece of me that feels like I should be a super model. I should have an amazing body, much like my car, and we should both be sleek and fast. We should both turn heads. We should both make our passengers comfortable (errrrmmm…you get where I’m going with that one. At the same time, where does that get you? Is it not an ongoing battle of being the sleekest, the most amazing, the most comfortable? Where is the refuge, where do you ever find comfort in a world that seems like a competition.

For me, my place to go is in Senna. I could just sit in the drivers seat and envelop myself in the standard cloth interior, take in the wonders of a base model Civic, and smell the weird stuff that I’ve spilled. All of those things are where I want to be, it’s who I am, I’m simple. I see other people with Civics, be it ten or two years old, and I have a new respect for them. It seems to me they have their priorities straight. And if anything I’m proud to be among the brethren of Civic drivers in the world.

Back to music….

“I bought some booze and hopped a train. It was easier than waiting around to die.”

Townes Van Zandt

The Civic at first seemed like my opportunity to hop a train and drink my woes away. I had lost my fancy car, I lost my fancy house, I was in a Japanese four cylinder What was life, what went wrong? The answer was simple, nothing.

If anything, things were starting to go right for me. I was waiting around to die prior to getting my Civic, and for once in my life, everytime I push that little button and the little bitty engine starts up I’m “waiting around to live” as opposed to waiting for my last breath. The Civic breathes a certain life into me that I hadn’t really experienced in a car before, and instead of feeling like a slave to it, it feel more like, well, it’s a slave to me.

–small tangent–I wrecked the Civic “Senna” before it even had 5000 miles on it. I hit a tree, and although I drive past that tree every single day, there is no recollection as to what happened. I don’t remember hitting the tree, I don’t remember airbags, I don’t remember walking into my house like nothing happened. The thing about Senna is that I’m confident that it saved my life. I’m not sure how quite yet, but it continues to save my life daily. It keeps me going, it keeps me uplifted, and that’s a lot to be said about a car, especially if it’s just a “civic”




8 thoughts on “Beauty Pageants My Ass

  1. Do I understand correctly that you totaled both the M1 and the Shark? I must have missed a few posts, my condolences….Although I love my E36 M3, I also have lots of respect for Civics (and Hondas in general), and will possibly go back (having previously owned a 1984 Prelude) after my 98 M3 gives up the ghost. But then you totaled the Civic? Sheesh, glad you are OK, but lack of memory as to how it happened suggests either a concussion or DUI. if the former, hope you are OK and it was checked out; if the latter, hope you are OK (sounds like you are) and got help.
    BTW, despite crashing you Civic, you sound much happier in this post than in many of your previous ones, for which I am happy.

    • I didn’t exactly total the shark, however the e82 met it’s demise, thus the civic. I am happier now, yes, than ever, and climbing up the hill of happiness that I hope never ends.

  2. Hi Nikki!! Are you and he Civic OK? Is Senna being repaired? Replaced by another?

    Hugs! Scott

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Senna is fine, I’m fine, just a bit miffed. The speculation is that the tire was compromised from the first crash in which he was resurrected from. It was a matter of time I suppose. Senna and I are cruising along, pushing pills, and smiling whenever the opportunity arises

  3. It was never about the cars… It was always YOU that turned heads, either with your appearance or with the printed words you write. There is nothing average about you. I like your Senna story. My ‘Senna” was a Ford pickup. It felt good to be driving a purely functional, invisible vehicle for a few years. A lot of pressure was off, in regards to keeping up both appearances and my previous 7 series. It was good for me at the time.

  4. Nikki, I started following your blog some time ago when I realized you no longer were publishing in Roundel. I love your writings there, it was always the first article I would look up. Best of luck with everything.

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