grayscale photography of man leaning beside car

Flash No. 25 – Jason Arment

A Car’s Life

by Jason Arment

A car’s life can be hard to imagine, but maybe not so difficult when the automobile comes back home one last time. Like most objects in the physical universe we occupy, it’s not hard to see when a car is going to wear out. Your mileage may vary, of course, but usually the driver can tell at least to the nearest season when a vehicle is about through. Maybe a driver raced it around too many corners, or gunned it to RPMs untenable, or it could be the slow corruption of a steel frame back to dust. Whatever the linear events led to the demise, be they full of melodrama or so pure as to exalt Hosanna in the highest, the termination is inevitable. A man will weep and rave long into the night over love and war, and though a truck might rattle and shake while it rolls, there is no mistaking the simple truth that the vehicle fears not, nor does it imagine. These two things are tightly woven together, like two fingers intertwined, like the fates unravelling the mosaic of your life: you were born, you crawled, you stood, you walked, you ran, you lived and then eventually your days of fleet footedness are behind you, you shuffle more than you walk, and some days either in or out of the shower you are humbled, and you crawl. This is to say that, unlike a car, we are once a (hu)Man twice a child.

Jason Arment
Jason Arment

Jason Arment served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Machine Gunner in the USMC. He’s earned an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. His work has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Rumpus, ESPN, the 2017 Best American Essays, and The New York Times, among other publications. His memoir about the war in Iraq, Musalaheen, stands in stark contrast to other narratives about Iraq in both content and quality. Jason lives and works in Denver.

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