Sunday, July 13, 2014

Conversations with My Car

"I need you to run," I said.  "I can't keep bumming rides from people." 

My car yawned and continued to ignore me.  It hadn't said much in a while. 

"Look," I said.  "Just stop pissing power steering fluid all over the place, alright?"  Two weeks of this shit.  I thought it was the pump so I changed it.  Of course, not having the tools didn't help, so with the aid of some co-workers we were able to make it happen.  That should have fixed the problem. 


Turned it on and power steering fluid was everywhere again.  The serpentine belt got soaked and slipped off the tension pulley.  Again. 

So today, I tried a new tactic.  One person got on the ground while I turned the wheels to see if fluid was squirting from the bottom.  This, I thought, seemed like the logical solution.  This way I could find out if it was the pressure hose or the rack.  I even had some budget solutions for the hose-option. 


The belt came off and for the life of my friend and I, we couldn't put it back on.  It was as if the car simply didn't want us to put the belt back on.  My 95 Ford Taurus was being a problem child and throwing a fit. 

"Come on," I implored.  "Just let me get this belt back on you and we'll get you all fixed up.  Ok?" 

Still silence.  And then I had an idea. 

"Well," I sighed.  "That's fine.  I need to get some writing done anyways.  I'm working on a story about a car." 

"Oh?"  Deep down I smiled. 

"Yeah," I said.  "It's the story about a car that has a heroic heart and bonds with a little boy who with cancer.  The boy's parents are flying him to a special hospital when they crash.  Only the boy survives and the car is trying to get him to his treatments before he gets too sick for them to work." 

"What kind of car?" 

"I was going to go with a Taurus just because of the relationship you and I have." 

"That makes sense." 

"Not really," I said.  "Nobody really likes Tauruses.  I mean, we all drive one, but that's just because it's what we can afford.  Tauruses aren't flashy and you're not the SHO model." 


And then, softly, "I've been reliable."

"Yes," I said.  "You have.  And aged well.  Almost 20 years old and still on the road."

"So why not make the car a Taurus?"

"So why won't you let me put this fucking belt on you?"

Silence again.  After a few minutes I went back inside my apartment to write.

Three hours later my horn toots.  I went back outside to see what it wanted.

"What's up?"

"You never take me anywhere."

I nodded my head in understanding.  I want to go places, too.  "Gas ain't free, my friend."

"Take me someplace other than work."

"Once I get paid, I'll certainly do that.  Maybe you, Dougie and I will go on a road trip together."

"You're lying to me.  I can tell."

"Yes," I said.  "I'm broke and can't afford to take you anywhere.  Plus, if you don't start working soon, I'm going to have to get rid of you."

More silence.

"Look," I said.  "While I love these little conversations of ours, I'm getting eaten alive by mosquitoes out here, so I'm going back inside."

"Why don't you ever have women in your car?"

"Well," sputtered.  "That's a good question--"

"---And when are you going to replace me with a van?"


"Look," I said while slapping at the dozens of mosquitoes that buzzed around me.  "I don't plan on replacing you with a van and one day I'm sure a woman will ride in your passenger seat."

"You can't afford to replace me, can you?"

It had me.  It totally had me.  There was nothing I could do.

"Would you please just run?"




"What do you want?"

"I told you."

And with that, silence for the rest of the night.

I can't say I have an end to this.  My car refuses to work.  There really isn't much more to say.  It's not that old but showing what age it does have.  I'm sure after a while I can figure out the problem and get it all put back together.  But until then, I'm bumming rides, and this issue is taking up way too much time. 


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