Monday, May 20, 2013

An Ode to My D6 Car Twin

Ever since I first brought my car to campus sophomore year, fresh off the lot and untouched by my late nineties CD collection and whatever crap it is that my sister stores in there, there has been another Notre Dame car at the center of my college experience. My little Fiona the Focus, you see, is not the only two-door black Ford Focus that parks in the D6 lower lot on the [direction] side of Notre Dame’s campus.

Yes, as with the phoenix feather that formed the core of Harry Potter’s magic wand, there was…another. In the lower lot of D6, there has, for the past two years, been exactly one other two-door black Ford Focus. It bears a Virginia license plate, and it is, if we’re being realistic, probably most accurately the Harry Potter to my Voldemort. It has existed for these two years to confuse, disorient, and deceive me, and it has done its job well. In the past few days, however, I have noticed that it has been parked on campus clear through senior week. While that could mean that, like myself, Twin Focus’ owner is just an underclassman member of some choir or other group that’s just on campus for the fun of it, I am choosing to take its presence to mean that Twin Focus’ owner is a graduate of the class of 2013, meaning that next year, Fiona the Focus will be left all alone.

This post, then (in addition to being my first post back on the regular Domerberry after my study-abroad-induced hiatus), is my tribute to my anonymous partner in Focusdom. Twin Focus and Class of 2013, this one's for you. 

Twin Focus, I cannot tell you how many times I have walked up embarrassingly close to you before noticing that you were not, in fact, my car. As I almost never remember where I park my vehicle any time that I return it to D6, my strategy upon trying to relocate it generally involves me wandering around the parking lot, keys in hand, trying to stare as casually as possible at all the cars until I spot one that looks, from a reasonable distance, to be mine. Twin Focus, you have spoiled this strategy time and time again. 

There are the times during the day, when I have spotted you in brightest sunlight and walked right up to you before realizing that you had a front license plate or lacked a Logansport Children's Choir window cling. There are the times during the evening and night when my innocent mistake has probably much more closely resembled attempted theft under cover of darkness. A time or two, my confidence in strolling up to you has been completely shattered when I hit the unlock button on my keyring and noticed a dome light turn on two rows away. 

Almost inevitably, when I am most certain that you are Fiona, Twin Focus, I have friends with me. "Which car is yours, Sarah?" "Oh, it's just that little Focus right over there," I say as I walk towards my humiliation. "Huh," my friends will say as we approach, "I didn't know you were from Virginia!"

I'm not, my friends. Twin Focus is. 

Recently, though, I've decided that I will miss you, Twin Focus. When you aren't tricking me into thinking you are my car - whether in my walk towards my Indiana ND specialty plate or as I drive out of the lot in what is most assuredly my vehicle - you are one of my closest D6 allies. Much like when I spot the familiar car of an old friend, I grin to myself when I see you, Twin Focus. I look at you and say, "Hey. Your owner's parents/grandparents/other assorted family breadwinners had good taste when they bought you." I wonder if you, too, are equipped with satellite radio or a super cool sunroof, and answer quietly to myself, "Probably not." I wonder if your CD collection is cooler than my weird turn-of-the-millenium pop and cool-kid-classical assortment and whether it's housed in something cooler than my pearlescent blue No Boundaries case from Children's Choir Ontario Tour 1999, and answer quietly to myself, "Probably." 

A few days ago, as I embarked on the classic search for a spot as close as possible to the front of the lot and as far as possible from icky Carroll Hall (a pure geographic coincidence, I assure you), I noticed that a spot only 3 cars back was open...right next to you. After two ears of seeing you parked in spots so distant from mine, the time was finally here for the Focuses of D6 to meet face to face. I snatched up that spot like a soccer mom at a Vera Bradley sale, silently and smugly noted that you were significantly cleaner than my car, and snapped a quick and completely necessary picture before heading back up to campus. 

Ignore the license plate numbers, I'm not technological enough to blur them out, whoops

When I returned to my car 36 hours or so later, I found that we were still parked side by side. The likely reason for this is that neither of us drove our cars during that time. Secretly, though, I like to hope and believe that you did drive your car during that period of time. In my mind's version of this story, you went on all kinds of errands after I parked next to you, and you returned to be my neighbor - just because it's cool.

I will miss you in D6 next year, Twin Focus. It's been fun getting horribly confused by you, and it'll be weird to have Fiona as the only black Focus in the house. But let's get one thing straight. To borrow from the infinite wisdom of Mean Girls, if any freshmen try to disturb that peace? Well, let's just say we know how to take care of them.