The Miata: The Lothlórien of Cars
"That is the fairest of all the dwellings of my people. There are no trees like the trees of that land. For in the autumn their leaves fall not, but turn to gold. Not till the spring and the new green opens do they fall, and then the boughs are laden with yellow flowers; and the floor of the wood is golden, and golden is the roof, and its pillars are of silver, for the bark of the trees is smooth and grey."
For those unfamiliar with The Lord Of The Rings, Lothlórien is a forest inhabited by the Elves during the events of the book/movies. Lórien means ‘dream land’ in the tongue of the men of Númenor. It is the fairest elf-realm surviving into the Third Age. But like a dream, it too must diminish in the end, relegated to the memory of the earth. But much evil must befall a land, and indeed a man before he wholly forgets Lothlórien.
The alarm goes off. As usual, you’re awakened all too early and abruptly. You hit pause on whatever song Spotify has chosen to play as your alarm. You stare up at the ceiling. You don’t want to go to work, but the bills dictate that you must. You’re a responsible guy, you show up to work on time, even early, you stay late, and work hard. But for what?
Most people do it because they have a family to support, be it a wife, husband, kids, grandparents, hell even a pet needs your income to survive. But you’re single, and your apartment charges way too much to keep a pet. So why do you work so hard?
It’s for the commute. More specifically, it’s for the car. You drive a Miata: a club spec with Brembo brakes, BBS wheels, and Recaro seats. It’s red, with the appearance package, and a few extra options that make it all your own. That’s why you work hard. The experience that is driving a Miata, even if it’s only for a few minutes, is unlike any other driving experience. The stress, worries, aggravations, and depression that stalk your everyday life seem to melt away during that morning commute. The anxiety filling the pit of your stomach is replaced with a kindle of joy that fuels the smile on your face. The wind in your hair reminds you that you can feel something. For a few minutes every day, you feel alive. Your Miata is your Lothlórien: the last redoubt of fairer days in an uncertain present.
Your life isn’t exciting, nor is there much of anything to write home about. In fact, you dread calling home because you don’t have anything new to talk about. Everything is the same. You’re still single, you still have the same job with the same set of problems and annoyances. You don’t have any friends, and so you don’t spend any of your free time hanging out or doing stuff. Instead, your time is spent watching Youtube, or scrolling Facebook and Twitter. You see the happy faces that people post because it’s best face forward or nothing. No one likes Johnny Rain Cloud. So you don’t post much. When you do call home you try and find something new to talk about or try and keep the conversation focused on them. It’s easier that way. So to try and escape this cold empty home life, you work every weekend, even some Sundays. It keeps you busy and your mind occupied. Plus, it means you can drive the Miata, it provides you with that much-needed escape, that much-needed feeling of well feeling. You escape to your Lothlórien, the golden wood of elder days.
Driving takes you back to a simpler time. When you were younger. When your first got a glimpse of Lothlórien in the form of an FC RX-7. Younger you doesn’t have bills to pay, nor anxiety, depression, imposter syndrome, or the feeling that you’re a massive disappointment to those you love most. In your Lothlórien you can be as gay as you want, you can sing as loud as you want, and the long hair and earing make you feel pretty. The deeper into Lothlórien you go the freer you feel. The weight of the world seems to fall away, you feel as if you could fly. The road melts before you, the sun warms you, and the fresh air greets you.
The Miata is as beautiful as a flower and strong as a tree. You both share a free spirit, but you don’t fight, for you both share a longing for adventure and the joy that only driving can bring. The sound of the engine fuels the urge to go faster and harder through the next corner. You feel alive. You feel free, for in Lothlórien there is only freedom to admit beauty.
Suddenly, you snap out of it. The brake lights of a slow-moving Camry rudely and roughly remove you back into reality.
The alarm goes off again, just like clockwork. The same white ceiling greets you, and you rise again. Lothlórien calls you, but reality killed Lothlórien before you had a chance to meet.
A combination of your own mistakes and life being life means you don’t drive that Miata. You drive a normal car. So you get in, start the engine, and it hums to life just like it always does. It’s reliable to a fault, much like yourself. So you throw it in gear. Since it’s a manual, it’s slightly more fun than that Camary going 45 in the fast lane. You drive, slowly sinking into the seat. You and the upholstery are slowly becoming one. As the miles go by, you dream, dream about the golden wood. You dream about the day you can kill reality and regain Lothlórien lost. For if you regain Lothlórien, you can regain that sense of freedom and joy that has so long eluded you. Long live the Miata. Long live Lothlórien.