What was I to do?
I was stuck between a some what hard rock and a very hard rock. Limestone and Marble. Hard Rock Cafe in Lubbock and Hard Rock Cafe in Seattle.
I had the opportunity to make a couple of quick thousand dollars. All it would take was a phone call and a drive over to south Austin. Both tasks that I am quite good at and do on an semi-daily basis. Then I'd just deposit a check that would have my name sitting happily next to a large number representing an amount of money that would be mine. Simple as that.
Simple as shake and bake microwaveable pie.
But it would mean that I would have become a rat bastard dirty liar. I'd have to take back a promise and turn the nostalgic sentimental part of my brain off to do it.
I'd have to give up the title to the 1989 Honda Civic DX.
(Cue music to lend a sort of air of sadness and prepare the reader for a montage of images, most of them in slow motion with a soft focus effect to pull at heart strings and make all involved look prettier.)
The 1989 Honda Civic DX. I remember sitting at the kitchen table at my Pop's house, looking out the window and sighing again and again.
Leroy: Will I ever ever (sigh) have a car of (sigh) my very own?
Then a blue boxy car pulled up in the driveway.
Leroy: (sigh) There's another car that isn't mine.
Honda: Think twice beotch! This sassy sweet ride is all yours for the taking!
Leroy: Whatchew talking bout Honda?
Honda: Shut your mouth and lets go for a spin a rim a ding dong, sexy lady!
A what a spin a rim a ding dong ride it was. It seemed to last forever, from the back streets of my suburban childhood all the way to the front streets of my college days in Austin.
Honda: You're the best owner a car could have, you sexy hoe!
Leroy: Aw, damn, Honda you know all the right things to say. Let's get you a lube job!
This is not to say that all of our times together were grand....
Leroy: I can't see a single thing in this pouring rain! The road ahead is dim and dark and dank and damn I don't know what to do!
Honda: Holy shit! My tires are skidding all over the place. My windshield wipers are pounding back and forth as fast as they can. My headlights are bright and true, but I don't know if we're going to make it LadeeLeroy. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! AH AH AH AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I'm hydroplaning! I'm hydroplaning!
Leroy: My awesome driving skills will save us this time!
Honda Swerve, curve, miss, skid, over correct, return to lane, it's alllllll goood.
And there were times when the Honda just wasn't there for me at all.
Leroy: Where were you? I was walking through the sand and I saw a pair of footprints and a pair of tire marks, but then the tire marks faded and it was just a pair of footprints.
Honda: Damn bitch, get off my back. My ass is old and I broke down, get over it.
Then there was that fateful promise made not more than a month ago.
Leroy: (sobbing) You're wrecked. Your entire trunk is smashed in.
Honda: I'm not going to make it, grrrrrl. I'm not going to make it. My oil pressure is going down! My muffler is falling off! Is this the end? Will I be salvaged?
Leroy: Don't you give up on me! Don't you give up on me 1989 Honda Civic DX! I.... need.. you.
Honda: It's getting dark... so dark.. I feel lighter and more fuel efficient.
Leroy: No! Stay here! Don't go you're my car! You're my friend! You're the innanimate object that I write about most often!
Honda: I........ love.... you..... Ladee.... Lerahhhhhhhhh.
Leroy: WHY GOD?!?!? WHY!?!?!? WHY DID YOU HAVE TO TAKE MY CAR!?!?!?!?
God: I had nothing to do with it. Talk to the large red truck that rammed into you instead.
Leroy: WHY LARGE RED TRUCK?!?!?!? WHY?!?!?! WHY DID YOU HAVE TO SMASH MY CAR?!?!?!
Large Red Truck: It was an accident. Here's my insurance information. They'll write you a large check that will let you buy another car. Perhaps one that runs better and has air conditioning.
Leroy: Another car......?
Honda: I'm coughing and sputtering in a manner that makes you think twice.
Leroy: (pocketing insurance information) I'll never give up on you. (To large red truck) We'll be in touch.
END OF MONTAGE.
It was like handing a jar of Pearl Cream to a person made out of raisins and telling them that this jar is the answer but that it musn't be opened because then you can't return the jar of Pearl Cream back for a cash reimbursement.
But I began a search for another car during the hours of darkness. The glow of my computer screen would at times be the only light in the house as my search was intense and that type of lighting seemed to make it more so. I would make phone calls with inquiries about mileage and mechanic records. I discarded my Pollywog patch and sewed on my Guppy one as I had become a somewhat pro at hunting down bargains and being able to read between the lines of classifieds and online advertisments.
Then I found it.
Large. Yellow. German. Four-doors to match its four speeds. 131K. Minor A/C repairs. Diessssssssssel.
A 1979 Mercedes-Benz 240D. A powerful, but respected automotive beast.
A shiver ran up my spine, so I turned the heat up.
Quickly I called the owner and made arrangements to take a test drive or two.
We'll skip the next couple of days as it involves the haggling process and the dealing with the insurance company and getting the engine checked out by Cousin Tracy, the ex- Mercedes mechanic. All you need to know is that I purchased the car.
It was mine. Alllllll mine.
The 1989 Honda Civic DX was now State Farms. Allllllll State Farms.
I had to start a closure process with the Honda. I had to start making myself realize that the Honda was just a car. Nothing more, nothing less.
Leroy: You are just a car.
Honda: What? No I'm not. I'm a fine fine sexy ride. Check out my sass!
Leroy: You are just a car.
Honda: I'm just a fine mother fucking car, knowhataaamsayinnnnn.
Leroy: It's just a car.
Honda: Did you just call me 'it'?
Leroy: It's just a car.
Honda: What're you doing? What's going on? I feel weak. So weak...
Leroy: It's just a car. Nothing more, nothing less.
Honda: Stop saying that! Stop it! Oh! I'm dissipating! I'm dissipating!!!!
Leroy: It's just a car. It was a good car. It's run it's course. It's treated you well. It's time to move on.
Honda:What a world... what a horrible world...
And that was it. It was hard to look at the Honda just sitting outside my house for the days that it took for the insurance company to come and pick it up. Luckily, my pain was comforted by joy rides in the Benz.
Benz: Wilkommen, Frauline Leroy. Wer fahren Sie jetzt?
Leroy: Oh, let's go to the car wash, Benzy. I feel like giving you a scrubbing!
Benz: Ohhh ein schrubbing. Ja, ja, Frauline Leroy. Ein schrubbing ist was Ich wollen.
Leroy: Then schnell, schnell, baby. Let's ride.
What a grand foamy time we had together, Benz and I. It was the first moment that I felt we bonded.
Riding home with the sun roof open I thought to myself, "I made the right decision." Then we turned the corner and the street in front of my house was bare. Vacant. Empty. Only a small puddle of brake fluid remained where the Honda once was.
Soon a smaller puddle of LadeeLeroy tears joined it.
It was gone forever.
I... made... the right ... decision. ?