Machinery of beauty

Kristopher Prue-Cook

I see the other woman every morning. She’s there when I need her and I’m always at her beck and call. When I step out of my house and into my garage, she’s waiting for me. My nighthawk black-pearl beauty waits for me as if she has been anticipating this moment all night.

I disarm her alarm, open the door and climb into the driver’s seat that hugs every inch of my body.

I place the key in the ignition and hit the “Engine Start” button and she rumbles to life, sending a tingle through my body.

My car is my greatest love affair.

I back out of the driveway, grab the stick shift, put her in first gear and one of the best parts of my day begins. My drive to school.

I writhe in anticipation for the moment my engine will rev and the road will become her playground.

Whew! I need a cigarette.

I know this all seems a little excessive and almost pornographic, but this is the power she exerts over me.

A lot of people spend a good portion of their income personalizing their vehicle or buying new ones.

In the past three years I have had five different cars and I have personalized each one.

You can imagine how much money I have spent on these “other women.”

It’s almost a sickness that can’t be controlled.

I plan out what I can buy next with the little money that I have saved up.

Like any sordid love affair, this has had a negative affect on my life. I will sometimes spend money on her that I don’t really have.

I think I should see a shrink.

According to The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, the annual estimated sales of aftermarket auto parts in the U.S. were $179 billion in 2001 alone. I guess I’m not the only one.

This love of modifying cars brings many different people together who probably wouldn’t be associated with one another otherwise.

When my friends and I attend one of our car meets, we are all so excited to be there to talk shop.

It doesn’t matter if we are different ethnicities. We bond on our love, the invention of the automobile – one historic achievement by man, yet one that has spawned a lot of turmoil in the world.

There are about half a billion vehicles in circulation worldwide, according to the Society of Automotive Engineers International,

The production of an automobile requires a lot of natural resources such as metal, petroleum and rubber products. Once these natural resources are processed, the production of the vehicle requires huge amounts of energy and creates its own pollutants.

For propulsion, modern vehicles still depend mostly on the internal combustion engine, which pollutes the atmosphere, and relies heavily on the oil industry for fuel and all sorts of lubricants.

Once a vehicle has reached the end of its useful life, car owners are placed in a bind. Cars used to rot away in junkyards for many years, but today the automobile recycling industry is bigger than ever.

Recycling automobiles saves an estimated 85 million barrels of oil per year that would have been used to manufacture new or replacement parts, according to the Automotive Recyclers Association.

Cars are only a means for transportation for the average Pierce College student. But, cars are an essential part of today’s society.

Cast aside their most essential purpose of getting people from point A to point B and think about what they transport.

They get your mail to your front doorstep in an instant, they deliver your groceries to the local stores and in some cases, can be the ambulance that saves your life or the vehicle that can take it away.

This one invention has helped shaped the world we live in, may it be positive or negative.

So treat her well – get her smog checks every once in a while, give her a tuneup and buy her something pretty – she’ll be sure to return the favor.


Kristopher Prue-Cook sits in his garage with his Nighthawk black pearl beauty. ()