August 2, 2008


Pop answered the phone: "What can I do for ya?"

"Give me the Toyota!"

"Done. Anything else?"

So I gave him Stinky, and took Antwan, a 1983 Toyota Tercel. By 1990, when this transaction was happening, all of his original paint had flaked off, and he wore a coat of silver spray paint.

I can't tell you how grateful I was. It was the perfect arrangement. Pop loved to sell cars. Mom wanted him to drive a car that wasn't so shameful looking. I had decided that it was far cooler to *get* to your destination than to be seen swanning up to it in a vintage ride. My bass amp fit on the back seat. That's all I cared about.

I recall our time together as being fairly unremarkable except for my being absolutely thrilled every single day not to think about car troubles. Now *that's* something to write home about. By not spending two hundred dollars a month on my car, I was able to save up for a ticket to go to China. By the time I had the cash the relationship was kaput, but I had a savings account and a focus I hadn't had before.

I drove Antwan until his seats had given away, not all of the windows rolled up, two different accidents had occurred to him when he was parked and he was 183,000 miles young. He began attracting attention of the local constabulary, like Officer No-Tooth. Eventually Pop worried that the two hour drive to grad school was going to be dangerous for me in Antwan. He was right. He sold the car and four months later I got a notice that Antwan had been abandoned after breaking down on the highway.

So ends the story of a faithful car, Antwan.

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