At the beginning of Joseph Conrad’s ‘Victory’ (I think), there is a passage about the loneliness of our hero’s possessions in his absence.  I remember this description ‘speaking’ to me when I read the book six eons ago.

Yesterday, Stephen was engaged in an e-dialogue with our insurance agent over the sideswiping of his beloved car last week.  He asked me, ‘What is the legal term for the person who causes the damage?’

I said: ‘Assassin’.

The vehicle in question is a 1997 Honda Accord station wagon, which was the last true station wagon Honda produced.  In addition to its ‘Classic’ status, it is a rarity due to the fact that it has a 5-speed manual transmission, apparently no small thing for those who get all goose-pimply over cars.

Stephen loves the car because he can haul all manner of thing, which was, of course, what station wagons were intended to be able to do in the first place.  Also, he can love ‘the antique’ because we also have a modern conveyance in the form of a hybrid we preciously call ‘the quiet car’.

In the course of correspondence with the insurance adjuster and the body shop, my beau is once again facing the reality of car-as-moneypit.  He has been – as Shirley Temple used to put it – ‘glum’.

My own sentimental attachments to objects is not altogether healthy.  In one of Duane Michals’ photo essays called ‘The Journey of the Spirit After Death’, there is a picture entitled ‘The Spirit Visits His Possessions’.