It’s clear to me now what she was, but as in all relationships, one’s viewpoint is not always as objective as one might think. In retrospect, it seems so clear … I mean, I had such a long and beautiful relationship with the Grey Ghost. We spent upwards of 10 glorious years together, through frigid winters and brutally hot summers, across mountains and desert, with only the occasional lover’s quarrel. Even then, the drives after we’d gotten her fixed back up were always extra special. She saw me through a number of girlfriends, with nary a sign of jealousy (save that mysterious “leak” on Veronica McAllister’s driveway, and she turned out to be something of a bitch, anyway).
All things must come to an end, though, and eventually she up and left me. I drank a toast purchased with the $50 check from the junkyard, and I’d be hard-pressed to recall a more bittersweet moment than that last Bud Light we shared together (even though she was miles away, and presumably a 2'x2'x2' block of crushed steel by that time).
I handled our parting the way many do … I went out on the internet and found a cheap whore. “$500 OBO,” the ad read. My god, I don’t know what I was thinking. It hadn’t even been a week, and I was looking lustily at anything that moved. And there was Jane F’Honda, all old ‘n’ smokin’, with her come-hither valve tapping and her half-exposed timing belt. I know now that I was subconsciously longing for the Ghost – I mean, really … another mid 80s wagon from Japan? Gosh, what a coincidence!
Friend of Dead Acorn: Hey, Dead Acorn – your new girlfriend seems nice.
Dead Acorn: Thanks!
FODA: You, uh, don’t think she looks a bit like Darla, do you?
DA: Darla’s gone, okay? I don’t know what you’re talking about. This one has slightly greener eyes, and her name’s Marla, and she’s like two months younger, so they’re not even close to the same.
FODA: Whatever, dude. I’m happy you’re happy.
(3 months later)
DA: Hey … how come you never said anything about Marla being just a cheap substitute for Darla?
FODA: Dude, you were in love. Or drunk. Or something. You needed to figure it out by yourself.
DA: You’re a good friend, FODA.
Anyway, it’s over, she’s dead, and I’m glad. For some sick reason, she’s still hanging out in my driveway, where I look at her with alternating scorn and pity, but as soon as I pull that stereo, she’s gone.
So I had my rebound fling, which I guess was necessary as part of the healing process, but now I’m really in love again. A 1992 Suzuki Sidekick* JX … what a sweet-ass ride. Not really like the Ghost at all – she’s boxier and higher off the ground, like an SUV (but with good gas mileage), and there’s not as much room behind the seats as a station wagon. Still, though, I’ll be able put the Yakimas up top to carry stuff.
Taller, smaller rear end, same spectacular rack. Oh HELLZ yeah.
Not everything’s perfect, of course. The Zukester (you didn’t think I was going to call her Suzy, did you?) is the first car I’ve owned made after the 1980s, so I feel as though I’ve lost a bit of my youth. Plus, my long-time dream of dating someone younger than my car has just gone from “laughably improbable” to “felonious.” But all in all, I know these cars are good, because an ex-girlfriend of mine had one just like it. Same year, same color, same …
Aw, crap ...
* I've always wanted a Sidekick. Now I kind of feel like a superhero:
"Gee, Bob, we've got all this beer to drink! I don't think we can do it!" "Don't worry, Fred, here comes The Dead Acorn, and his trusty sidekick, Zukester!"