The Fantastic Everyday: Cars and Empathy

This weekend, I got a chance to enjoy an annual ritual: attend the Denver Auto Show. Dealerships from all over the Denver metro area trot out their flashiest and best cars. You get to view, handle and sit in everything from a Ford Fusion to a Lamborghini. I didn’t realize I enjoyed nice cars until I had a boyfriend who was a motorhead, but once having discovered it, I learned that cars are fun. Helping my good friend, the talented and vivacious Alissa Tyler, with her TV show, Cars From a Woman’s Perspective, helped me further develop my interest in appreciating cars and their performance. For a peek at Alissa’s engaging storytelling abilities and love of cars, go to She has played with some really fun cars and filmed the experience, some of which I've gotten to share with her. 

Wandering around the auto show, experiencing the full sensory interaction of so many cars in one place, always makes me aware that cars are such interesting symbols. They are partially beings in and of themselves—try sitting in a Rolls Royce, then sit in a Mazda Miata, one right after the other, and you’ll feel the distinct personality difference between the two—but they are also creations. Someone designed these cars, put heart and soul into them, and put them out there, to be enjoyed. In that way, it’s very similar to writing or art. The artist or writer taps into the well of creativity, designs something, then the audience closes the loop by experiencing it. 

I write about a melding of the everyday and the fantastic. About aliens with extra senses and abilities that are far beyond our own. Except I ask myself, are they? Are those extra senses really all that alien? Or is it really just the way we all experience the world? This weekend, I got a chance to play a little with my own extra senses—the empathic/sensory awareness of my life that allows me to tap into and play with the image a car projects, and helps me enjoy the sensory experience of sitting in a nice, brand-new car. And I realized: empathy and experience don’t have to be scary or overwhelming. They are fun.  

I certainly got to experience that enjoyment this weekend, sharing my mental space with some very friendly cars! 

Sara with Miata fever