The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

Saying goodbye to an old friend

The memories live on, even as Matty the Matrix enters the parking lot in the sky

Two weeks ago, I walked out of my apartment and down to my 2003 Toyota Matrix, or “Matty,” as I liked to call it. The name comes from high school.

My best friends all had cars our senior year and we spent one lunch hour naming them. We had Matty the Matrix, Corey the Corolla and Suzy the Suzuki.

All of them were best friends like in the old Chevron commercials in which the clay cars all sat around and became best friends.

I entered my car and put the key into the ignition for what would be the last time.

As I pulled out of my apartment complex parking lot, I accelerated to about 10 miles per hour. I was now about 30 feet from my apartment. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I had hit another car.

First, I panicked. Had I done something illegal? Did I miss a stop sign? Was I having a dream or a vision from the future like some CBS television drama? The answer to all three questions was “no.”

Someone had run a stop sign going about 50 miles per hour and in doing so I had hit them in the middle of the intersection of a two-way stop. I had dented their car pretty bad, but it knocked my car into neutral so I think I lost this battle.

I took a deep breath, thanked God that I was still alive and got out of the car. As I started walking towards the other car to check on them, the car took off. Yes, that’s right: They were leaving the scene of the accident.

A driver who saw what was happening and had his window down made contact with me.

“Follow him!” I yelled.

He whipped his Mercedes Benz around the corner and tailed the person who hit me. He dialed 911, got the license plate, make and model and the police were able to find the driver who hit me.

The next day I got a call from a detective who informed me that the car was registered to a woman and that the woman said that her daughter and her boyfriend were leaving his apartment and got in the wreck. Her “cellphone was dead” so she was going to “drive right home and call the police to inform them of the accident.” Ummm….

I’m supposed to believe that this girl who had no idea what kind of car I was driving, what my license plate number was (as it had been knocked off and into pieces after the wreck), and who didn’t exchange information with me was going to go home and call the police?

But it gets worse: When they towed my car away, I heard the tow truck man say, “Well it doesn’t look good…” The next day, Service King called me and told me that my car was going to be totaled and that I needed to come pick up my things left in the car. I immediately had a sense of depression that I have never felt before.

My car was gone. Matty the Matrix was going to be put to death.

My best friend Elizabeth drove me up to Service King with a plastic container to gather my things. When we got there, the man who had my key quietly said, “I’ll let you be alone with your car for a few minutes…”

So I sat in the driver’s seat of my car with a box going through the glove compartment. There was a trophy I won in high school, pens, a magnifying glass, a picture of my ex (which I left in the car to be destroyed) and a number of pieces of paper that I could have sworn I had lost.

I have had so many good (and bad) times with my car. From my first date in my car in the 11th grade, to the times I got pulled over, to the time I drove to Galveston all summer to be with the girl I loved. They were all going to stay with me forever.

So the next time you go to your car, take a few minutes and tell your car how much you love it. Think about the memories you two have shared. Tell your car that you care.

After all, it sits in the heat, the rain, the cold, and (sometimes) the snow, all to be at your call whenever you need it. Write a poem for your car or get your oil changed. That’s equivalent to a steak dinner.

I will miss you, Matty.

In Loving Memory Of

Matty the Matrix (2003-2009)

John Paul Green is a sophomore theater major. He can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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