It was the most beautiful car I had ever seen... Sunroof! Yes! The seats turn warm, the seats turn cool, Ed says – hey, they not only go back and forth, they go up and down!
It had been a battle to be first in line to view it. The ad went up, twenty million people called (or some such number). A scheduling snafu meant that no one could see it until today. I pushed using all available logic to be first in line.
A golden moment: I am there (with mechanically inclined Ed), the car is glistening in the evening sunlight, I touch it ever so gently, I sit behind the wheel, turn the key, put it in first and off we go!
A dreamy ride! The gears shift from one to two to three ever so smoothly... Lights flicker telling me to do this, to do that... I know I want this car.
Best part – the little old Saab has an asking price of only twice my upper limit. They want $2300.
I tell Ed to do the final check: anything that I may have omitted. He moves behind the wheel, I take out my wad of $100 bills, making sure I have them neatly in place.
We're coming round the last bend. I feel a lurch.
Then silence. The engine stalls. All is quiet.
Ed tries all the tricks known to him – nothing.
I call Sarah, the owner’s daughter-in-law (she brought the car down to Madison for the sale) and I explain the predicament. We are in a dead space somewhere on the far east side of town and the car wants to go no further.
Ed and I get out and push and eventually we get this shiny sparkling heap of metal to the point of departure.
Sarah's day is ruined. She says as much. Who can blame her. Not her car, not her fortune. Or misfortune.
I like her feisty pissed countenance. The woman is spunky and witty. Her tattoos protrude seductively, her cigarette remains suspended in places where it can offend no one. Ed and I try to make this deal work even as the car simply wont... well, run.
It’s no good. We leave her to her sorry predicament and head back. I stop at Ed’s farmette and borrow his ’93 Geo Metro to get me through a couple of errands in the next day or so. The sun is dazzling, the fields are in a brilliant hue of gold, but I don’t have a photo for you: my camera is casting a sympathy vote with those who choose not to work today. Its battery dies, it can do nothing more.
Life is full of unnecessary changes and unwanted improvements.
In the evening my daughters and I sit over a plate of sushi and they are liking the food and I am remembering raw fish in Japan...
The camera needs a recharge.
And so do I.