My car is mine, I think.
After several years of diligently writing checks to a bank that neither influenced my decision over what car to buy nor had any part in the actual purchase process other than to be a name on a form, I received a letter in the mail the other day saying that I no longer had to do that. My car loan, in other words, had been paid off.
This is good news. That’s several hundred dollars a month that I can now turn toward other things, such as tequila and gold-plated appliances. Or, more likely, toward other bills, health-care expenses no longer covered now that Governor Teabagger has declared war on us state employees, college funds for the girls (the great irony of being a professor is that it is a singularly inappropriate career if you actually want to be able to afford to send your kids to college someday), and perhaps the occasional dinner out in a place that does not require you to unwrap your food. Hey – every little bit helps.
I suppose I could start putting that money aside for the next car too. Neither of the kinds of cars we own are manufactured anymore – we’re brand-killers, yes we are – so who knows how long they’ll be supported and fixable. But they’re good cars and both paid off now, and we’re going to hang on to them as long as we possibly can.
So I went to the DMV this morning to clear the bank off the title. The bank had sent me a letter telling me to do that. Since they hadn’t sent me the actual title, I figured the state must have it.
The state disagreed. They said I have it.
No, I said, that’s kind of the whole point of me coming here – to get it, which implies not having it in the first place.
There was a brief stand-off.
You never win those stand-offs. The DMV people are far better at them than you will ever be. They do this for a living. They eat noobs like you for lunch and pick their teeth with your bones.
So my next mission will be to figure out where the actual title of the car may be hiding. It’s mine, now, and I would like to take it home and feed it and pet it and love it and call it “George.”
In the meantime I’m riding around in limbo, which is actually kind of a nice feeling since I am convinced that this means nobody can see me and I can do whatever I want in my own car which is mine and not the bank’s and all mine, mine, mine.
Yes, this is what I will tell the nice police officer when he asks.
I’m sure he’s been to the DMV himself a time or two, and will understand.