I turn the key and hear the old engine turn over a few times, struggling to get going. Eventually it starts. The engine sounds rough when cold, but with a few quick revs, it starts to sound a little better. The “check” light flashes at me until I press the brake pedal to let the car test the brake lights, or press the “check” button on the roof near the sunroof adjustment switch, between the two visors. When I press the “check” button, seven small, red, LED lights brighten to show me that they are functioning properly. They are there to warn me of low oil, or low coolant, or to let me know if any brake lights, taillights, or headlights are not working. Clicking the sunroof button reclines the glass above my head. The sun beams into the interior and heats the leather.
From the front seats, the pealing and fading grayish-silver paint on the hood is visible. The dark brown dashboard has several cracks, is dusty, and feels smooth to the touch. The tan glove box is protected by lock and secured with all the important documents. The modern stereo was installed improperly and sometimes different speakers fade in and out, and the stereo needs a nudge to get the sound to play in those speakers again. The dashboard lights are very dim at night, and can hardly be seen. The center console contains the dark-brown gear shifter, and around that are four window switches that correspond to the two power windows. Sitting upright in the driver seat gets the sweet smell of food.
Fries, Burgers, spilled sour patches, and beef jerky (luckily it only the smell that fills the air, and not the actual food products). Once it starts rolling, the windows go down and the only smell that’s present is the scent of New Jersey pollution. Gas from the vehicle in front of me drips off and skims my tires. The smoke that people are blowing out from cigarettes ahead fills my surroundings with remembrance of death. The car sounds old, and it seems the engine makes a lugging noise while accelerating. The brakes squeal while braking, and sometimes the dark-brown leather steering wheel vibrates. After long trips, the car smells like burnt oil, but when fresh, the car smells like aged leather. If the heat is turned on, the car can become quite warm when fully warmed up, but the air conditioning does not work, so it’s never colder in the car than it is outside. The car tastes like … well I actually don’t
know because I don’t lick my car.