Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Automobile Passion: Ch. 1

My First Chevy
We went to the Chevy dealer to look at used cars and there she was, a gleaming pewter star. I think she literally screamed for me. I could feel the freedom and the glory that she would bring. That sweet little two-seater, 4-banger with a five-foot bed; she never let me down.

Her and I had a passion and desire to explore the swampy flatlands of Florida. We ventured through every sandy, rocky, swampy, degraded place in Southwest Florida. She got me in a lot of trouble, needless to say. She could haul 10 extra people from the sunset to the beach house and easily get towed through the deep flood-zones I would try to push her through. I know she loved it as much as I did. The only thing she hated was my ‘lead foot’ in the rain. She flipped out on me every time.
The day after I get the car, I’m with my mom heading to the store for groceries. An old lady rear-ends me at a stoplight less than ¼ mile from my house. I follow her to the pharmacy parking lot where I get out and let her know she hit me. She seems surprised and gently apologizes. My mom and I look at her and my truck, and decide to let it go. 
A month later, I destroyed her chassis. Making a right turn on a wet city road, I spun her around and crashed into a median. I did not suffer, but she did. It took a month to get her back in shape, since my step-dad was able to get a friend of his to repair her for us.
So I get her back and we’re off. This is my town. I never felt so powerful. I had missed my girl. We had many nights rompin’ through the mud. She was a tough one, she only got stuck once that I can remember. Trailing through the “Tram” one night with my sister, following some of our friends in their lifted trucks, I drowned her. The headlights disappeared into the murky water and she shut off. Luckily the guys towed her out, flooded out the water she had drank and she started right up.
A few months later I was headed home, in the rain. As soon as the light turned green my foot plowed on the gas pedal, it seemed like an involuntary reaction on my part. I fishtailed through the intersection, did a full 360 and landed on the median this time with both ends of the truck facing oncoming traffic. Awful. No one stopped to help. I called my boyfriend at the time and him and his friends came and literally picked up the truck and set it back on the road. I headed home in shame.
This was the last of my glory days. I realized I had to control myself as a driver, because even though none of those incidents affected others, it put a hurtin’ on my truck and in my parent’s wallets.  

About two months later, I’m leaving the mall with my sister. Now this story will be edited for the sole purpose of keeping a clean record. But this bitch girl stops, looks at my car approximately 20 feet away, and decides to pull out anyway. She slams directly into the passenger seat where my sister is sitting. I jump out of the car. My sister jumps in my seat and puts the car in park. I run up to the five girls in the red convertible and the driver cries “Please don’t call the cops, I don’t have insurance.” The girls in the backseat cry “We aren’t even allowed to be at the mall.” I fiercely look at the girls in the back and recommend they leave now. I am fuming. I call my mom, who tells me to call my step-dad. He arrives in 5 minutes. Now, I cannot fully disclose the rest of the story but it ended up with a restraining order on my sister and I, against a girl with whom we attended high school. Weeks later we have a court ceremony where the judge dismisses the case {{ evil grin }}. Sorry but there are two things you don’t mess with – my family or my car. Ever.
Probably a week later I went to a house party. No more parking left in the driveway, so I go to park in the ditch where all the other cars were. I pummeled through the ditch and smack! The front bumper broke off. My friends zip-tied it back on. Good as new :)
A few months later, in heavy traffic, the car in front of me slowed for a bicyclist to cross. The bicyclist seemed to not want to go, and the car in front seemed to be taking the liberty to proceed. Then the bicyclist decided to go anyways and the car in front of me slammed on the brakes. BANG there goes my front end again. The bumper, this time, could not be mended and off it went. My truck had to be towed home where my step dad fixed her up again.
I think I should now throw in that about once or twice a month I would lock my keys in my car, and sometimes with it running. It had manual everything (except the transmission, thank god), a very basic model. But each time, there come my parents… saving the day :)
Slowly over the next few months, she aged. She drug her tires across the pavement every time we started on a journey. I really beat her up, and since I wasn’t working for the parts store at the time, I didn’t know how to fix her or truly care for her in the essence of maintaining her. She was beat. She became a diamond in the rough. Every panel on her had a gentle scar on it and she was like an old dog that didn’t enjoy the ride anymore. Eventually, it came time for me to find a new vehicle. As with jobs, my shelf life with vehicles seems to be about two years as well. 

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