Love the Beast

I watched “love the beast” a documentary about Eric Bana and the love of his first car.

Now,I’ve been having trouble sleeping, I twisted my foot tonight and I’ve been downloading too many new apps for my iPad (one of them being WordPress) so I though I’d have a go at an impromptu post. So many of my posts are obsessed over and thought out to the point of they ever see the light of day because I’m too picky. Maybe this should be one of those posts, maybe not.

My parents were gear heads. Bring them to a car show and they will show you a glimpse of their 20-something self. My dad built cars and fixed cars. My mom owned some of the coolest muscle cars. Then they had me and we had more reliable forms of transportation.

My brother was taught how to fix cars. I wanted to learn but it wasn’t for girls. I regret that I only know how to change a tire, even that I fail at. I always wanted to get under a car and change the oil, reak of motor oil and transmission fluid. I wanted a real reason to come inside and use that Lava soap.

Even though I don’t know all the lingo of a real gear head I did learn how to truly love cars. Many of our cars had names. We’d try to cheer them on to start in the dead of winter. We’d yell as them when they oveheated and left us stranded. We cried when we sold them or crashed them.

I said goodbye to my first car. It died in the desert between Los Angeles and Vacaville. Overheated, blew the engine cost twice as much to fix then it was worth. That first car I bought for my dad for $1. It got me from Michigan to California. That car was my ticket to an adventure. There were nights I slept in that car. I would escape the mall where I worked and have lunch in that car to get away from people. It was a little white Plymouth Neon. Cute, spunky and sporty. I dinged it up a few times, living in LA will do that to a car. It was a reminder of home and a gateway to the future. I wasn’t just a machine it was a part of my past and future. It failed at times just as I did. It was scared of the hills of Venture highway, just as I was.

So I’m not surprised that tonight I found myself crying and really connecting to “Love the Beast” a documentary following Eric Bana as he talks about his 25 year ownership of his first car the Falcon XB. If you are not familiar it’s the same car in Mad Max. It’s a muscle car.

In the doc we see Bana and his mates work on the car through the years. Their link unbroken by getting together and fixing up this one car. They race the car a few times to great success. Bana because more of a success in films, he still gets together with his mates to work on the car and race. They went through many restorations in the 25 years. The final restoration is to get the car ready for a race on closed streets with mixed turain. He ends up crashing the car. The rest of the doc is Bana wondering if he should fix the car again.

This is where I cry. That car means so much to him. To the point he’d rather have broken bones than see his car destroyed. A car isn’t always just a car, it is a part of you. It’s a love.

It makes me think of broken dreams and paths not taken. Abandoning yourself because times get too hard. Something, anything you spend 25 years with is hard to let go. It showed me that everything is fixable. Mechanical, spiritual, physical or otherwise. Don’t walk away, don’t give up on something that means so much. If something is broken in your life fix it. I only wish everything was as easy to fix as a car.


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