Farewell, My Niva

You seduced me with your nonchalant demeanor, the way you faunted that body as enchanting as lapis lazuli. You were one of only a few, in a separate, dignified class. You refused to dress up and misbehave like your regal rivals in snow white, windows tinted black, screeching around town with those awkward, grotesque wheels that threw them off balance. You stood apart, never to conform, never to yield to the stereotype. You demanded more than the apero in his gradient tinted aviators and cheap Adidas knock-off track suit, blasting the rabiz classics through the Pioneer sound system with heavy bass. No, you lived and breathed for adventure. You longed for the thrill of the mountain passes, the marshy plains of the Ararat fields, the stubborn sludge-filled crevices of off-road trails. You refused to be confined to city roads, smooth asphalt, unchallenged, unprovoked. You longed for alpine air and forested high ground. You would leave the dilapidated, elderly Mercedes-Benzes and shitbox Opel Vectras lurching behind as they toiled in the dust and gravel, while you cruised up to the serene Pars Lij effortlessly, gracefully, in proud defiance time and time again. You even outmatched your larger challengers, the Toyota Prados and Mitsubishi Pajeros, whose drivers wouldn't dare risk scraping their undersides on the odd, pointy stones that lurked in muddy puddles. You were all about the thrill of the moment, powered by the life-force of 81 steady horses. And you always shined. You were unstoppable on any terrain, in inclement weather or on sun-drenched, steamy asphalt. Nothing phased you, no road was impassable. And I loved you for your endurance, your graceful strides, your reliability. 
Yes, we had our moments of despair and estrangement. Your electrical system's quirks nearly had me committed on more than one occasion. Your lack of power steering made my flimsy arms and desperate loins ache while parallel parking. But nothing could separate us. Not until now. 
I vowed that you would fall into safe hands, those that would cherish you as I once did. Now you will continue along those same fair and rough roads but with a different driver, who will in time come to respect and be charmed by all your idiosyncrasies, your stubborn first and reverse gears that seem to always crave the clutch's repeated caress. You will see Ararat's pastures once again, you will travel from border to border, from idyllic Lake Arpi to majestic Meghri to the endless ripples of Artsakh's mountain ranges. Armenia is embedded in you, it's part of your very identity. 
So long, my dear cerulean friend. You never let me or my boys down. Thank you for the memorable, extraordinary times we shared together. And thanks for keeping me safe from harm along the way.


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