Monday, November 21, 2005
Passing of an Era: II
Look at me in that last picture. That boy has cut his hair for the sake of job hunting. He's hung up the "Faith No More" T-shirt and the Big Green coat. I rarely complain about my teenage years. But that was a dream I lived years ago and so must go other antiquated pieces from my youth.
As I'm writing this, I wonder at what I'm doing. I've already raved about the minivan and now I'm about to dis' my beloved first car. When I was 15, I took my friends and parents to Vernal and we bought this car in original condition for $500. We cranked over the engine and out blew a burst of white feathers. I took it home and it sat in my garage for years. I forced my friends to help me sand it. I put in new carpet, seat covers, headliner and CD player. When I was 18 I bought decent wheels and tires and had a skilled painter spray on layer after layer till the body was in show quality.
It's been to California and Washington and back again. Never a shortage of adventures, usually beginning with a mechanical ailment; "we overheated outside Elko, Nevada due to a faulty radiator cap..." "the fuel pump physically broke on a rural highway outside Gold Beach, Oregon...".
No women have ever physically thrown themselves at me to get closer to my car. Some girls in college described it as "cute" and I was millimeters from denying them a ride to the store. Mostly car dudes or old men chase you down to "talk shop."
I would never regret buying the car. It is from the golden age of pissed-off and beautiful american automobiles. But now I am a family guy with three kids and an elegant wife. My first car gets next to no use and watching it sit in the driveway is like watching your kid slowly die of cancer. The windshield is scratched from the wiper. My sister-in-law lost the key to the trunk. Some guys at a Jiffy Lube in Elko skewed the hood. The paint is now shot and the rust is coming back. Some guy pulled onto a busy street without looking and broke the cars nose. Someone keyed the fender; but I'm sure he craves the violent death that is certainly coming his way. Maybe it doesn't look that bad in the top picture but when you have things to hide, the darkness is your friend.
I have tried to keep the car up but it requires a lot of attention. I paid $1000 for a transmission rebuild. Now, a month later, if you go out and turn the key, absolutely nothing happens. I put in a new starter and a new battery but haven't remedied the problem. I really don't have time or a place for it anymore. I will probably end up putting it on eBay in the next week or two for just the amount I paid to repair the transmission. There is a sad side to it, but life doesn't wait or slow down for anyone. You just have to keep moving. In the grand scheme of things, it's just a car.