Things I Leave In My Car

by nostalgicbroad /
nostalgicbroad's picture
Oct 30, 2014 / 0 comments

The contents of a Subaru in North Carolina. The car is rather messy and is owned by someone who likes to take long drives.


Things I leave in my car


Matches (never used)
Red L.L. Bean sleeping bag
Four tapes of T.S. Eliot reading his poetry that I purchased in college
Maps of at National and State Parks, including Joshua Tree and Pisgah National Forest
Two flashlights, one yellow and one blue, both oddly large
Striped cotton blanket
Mix CD made by a friend who now lives in Dallas
Atlas, crumpled and water-damaged
Sleeping mat and collapsible water dish for my dog Millie
My dashboard hula girl named Daphne who keep falling off the dashboard (so now she lives in glove compartment)
Empty water bottles, slightly crushed
Dozens of caps to water bottles, mostly under passenger seat
Parking receipts
Reusable shopping bags from Trader Joe’s, Zabar’s, and T.J. Maxx
A green hardback copy of Dylan Thomas’ poems, warped by the sun
Spilled dry dog food, mostly under the back seat
Pamphlet from Dollywood
Super glue (from multiple attempts to keep the dashboard hula girl on the dashboard)
Computer cord I need to return and will likely never return



Susan Harlan is an English professor at Wake Forest University, where she specializes in Renaissance literature. Her non-academic writing focuses on the intersections between place, objects, and memory. Her essays have appeared in Nowhere, Skirt!, Public Books, Literary Mothers, Artvehicle, Cocktailians, Smoke: A London Peculiar and Open Letters Monthly. Her online travel diary Born on a Train, which narrates a long-haul Amtrak trip she undertook in full 1950s dress – complete with hats and vintage luggage – is about old-school train travel, and she has a monthly column for Nowhere magazine entitled “The Nostalgic Traveler”.