The Metaphor of the Run-down Car

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Relationships are complex. Everyday, we struggle to understand its inherent intricacies. There are so many analogies, similes, and parables that we humans rely on to come to grips with the truths and realities of the world in general, and of relationships in particular. This is one of those.

Having watched what is, perhaps, the most buoyant Filipino film in these modern times, I became so taken by the insinuating comparisons, the creeping metaphors, that are molded in every theatrical spectacle. I became more keen on finding the hidden meanings, the between-the-lines, and I ponder and try to make sense of their clever nature.

For instance, there is, what I like to call, the Metaphor of the Run-down Car.

This sprang from the film 1st Ko Si Third. It is my favorite local film, I must mention. A particular overlapping storyline that brought about this Celine Manifesto was the sheer determination of the husband character to fix an old automobile. His reason for doing this, when his nettled wife inquired as to why he was so keen on making the good-as-antique car work, was so that he could teach her how to drive and take her on road trips. During the course of the car-fixing, their relationship turned for the worse. But once the husband found success in his endeavor, once the car was up and running again, their relationship seemed better too. Mended, anew.

The Metaphor of the Run-down Car tells us that relationships should not be so easily tossed aside, that they deserve every bit of our attention and dedication for them to continue to work at an optimal level. Relationships, unlike the popular notion, can be fixed if one becomes as hardworking, as persevering, as any great mechanic.

The point here, I must stress, is that fixing a relationship does not mean that it is a continuation of the bond pre-ruin, albeit, upon being mended, it becomes an entirely different thing. A mended relationship is something new in itself, with the dents and scratches of the past making it unique. Every flaw, every shortcoming, becomes part of its beauty.

We should not give up on people who mean much to us. We shouldn't stop fixing even when others tell us to, even if the person whom you are trying to fix it for says it's futile, especially when we know in our hearts that there is nothing in this world that is worth more than the relationship being mended.

What separates us from other creatures, what makes us human, is that we have a limitless capacity for determination.

The world is already too much of a dark place. We shouldn't give up so easily on each other.

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