To Emmet, From Sebastian


When your note emerged from the CD player, I have to admit that I was shocked. My first thought was that I was being pranked and my second was that I had unknowing consumed some kind of hallucinogen. Even as I started reading, I couldn’t believe that 1) my car was sentient and 2) he had taken the time to write me a note. But there was something behind the words that seemed so distinctly you; three quarters of the way through my unbelief had turned to amazement.

I’m sorry your opportunities for satisfying socialization are so few and far between. I can’t say I’m surprised that the two other cars in our driveway aren’t the most engaging conversationalists. At the same time, I wonder if you wouldn’t prefer that I cleaned you a bit more often if there were cars out there you might want to impress. You know as well as I that you’ve got a heart of gold, but if a weekly wash helps you make a better impression at the drive in, it’s the least I can do.

I’ll do my best to answer your questions, though I can’t promise you’ll be satisfied with my responses.

When I leave you behind to ride my “two wheeled thing,” its not because I’m unhappy with you in any way. In fact, I’m grateful that you were able to take me out into the wilderness so that I can go on two-wheeled adventure. I guess there are two reasons I don’t take you with me past that point. The first is that cars just aren’t allowed in most of the places I want to explore. The second is that being able to travel distances under my own power brings me a great deal of joy. Even if I could take you into the forest with me, I don’t think I always would. Please don’t take it personally, sometimes I just need to spin the wheels myself.

I really don’t wish I had a different car than you. Sometimes I feel guilty about not owning something electric, but practically speaking, I don’t think there’s a car out there that can do what you do as well as you do it. The new one is Hanna’s new Crosstrek, Midge. Weird name, I know, but give her a chance! Once we get rid of that old sack of bolts in the driveway (shhh) you’ll have plenty of time to get to know each other.

Plane or boat, hmm. As enticing as flight has always been, I think I’d rather be a boat. A sailboat, to be precise. There’s something about floating on the water being propelled by the wind that feels magical. I wouldn’t need to produce any force of my own, harnessing instead impersonal forces that draw their source from some place far beyond me, and continue to do so long after they have sent me on my way.

I’m curious what you think of the music and podcasts I listen to, and I wonder whether there are any particular passengers of mine that you can’t stand. How do you experience aging? Did you have a childhood? An adolescence? How did you learn to talk, to think? Do you ever feel powerless? Does it even bother you?

I don’t want to overwhelm you with questions, so I’ll just say that I very much look forward to continuing our correspondence. I’ll wash you soon, I promise.

Your owner, driver, and friend,


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