In the continuing saga of this marvelously charmed summer, my long-time toy has come home to me.
She (“Scarlett”) and I have been together for 19 years and have traveled all over, often on bailing wire and snot, duct tape and spare rubber, mostly with me chanting, "go Scarlett, go," a mantra that works, sometimes, but usually it involving me and my scraped up knuckles rammmed against hot metal, me growling against her and her pissing brake fluid and attitude, rattling ass in that proprietary Veedub chitter that announces a bug like a cicada. In the bonnet (not trying to be some pretentious anglophile prick but I can't think of a better term for it) is still a bedroll, tarp, cooking & fishing gear, sundry survival items (i.e. pipe fittings and faucet screens), and a WWII surplus camouflage net: I can pull over almost anywhere (and I did, many times), throw the net over her and shove in some branches, find some solitude, get a huge buzz on, or just create a quiet place to rest my head. Before the kids, it was more often than not that I'd let her spontaneously take me somewhere into the mountains where I'd never been, a couple days and nights free, me free, everything free but gas and beer and a package of hotdogs. With the engine in the rear and the incredible amount of torque that goes with that, she took me places no regular car (or even trucks) could go. We've made it up many jeep-trails and never once was I scared we'd get stuck.
Today, as we drove north, Lilly asked if Scarlett talks to me. Feeling the vibration of the steering wheel, the torque flexing as I shifted, I had to say "yes," she does, she's happy, tickled that the children who played in her while she stood idle and broken are now enjoying the wind rushing through her windows. I talk to her, she talks to me and I think, for most things, we understand each other.
A couple years ago, I dated a goth girl for about five minutes. She needed a car and I foolishly lent Scarlett to her, believing her when she said she knew how to use a shifter. Some small part of me believes Scarlett was miffed at my promiscuous palming her off but whatever the reason, she refused to move, her clutch flacid and worthless. Two years of slave-wages had her silent and still in my driveway, weeds growing around her tires and through her bumper, sad and forsaken, a plaything for my kids but not for me.
And now she's back, purring perfectly. We're taking her south this week to see MBS and her girls, a 4 hour drive through desert and mountains. I'll pack a lot Capris Sun, coloring books, and soft toys. We'll leave early to get through the desert while the day is cool, hit the mountains by late-morning. No DVD, no A/C, just us and some road songs and long looks out the window where imaginations run free. I'll post some pics later in the week.
I am a happy man.