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Also Ran | by magic_fella
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Also Ran

This car got my attention right away.

 

I look at cars in wrecking yards (like this one near Lamont, Alberta) and they are banged up, stripped, faded – waiting for the crusher.

 

And every time I look at these cars, I think of a summer afternoon in 1985. I was a reporter at a rock and roll station having a very difficult time pissing away all the money they were paying me. (I managed...)

 

In this memory I am driving off a car lot in a two tone blue Camaro. It is a car with a rumbling soul and as I steer my new (okay...new to ME) car off the lot and into traffic for the first time, I am listening to David Bowie's “Young Americans” on the radio. It is a perfect summer day that smells like fresh cut grass. My window's down and the music is loud. I am enjoying the pleasantly dark scent of heat rising from fresh asphalt and my world has taken on a sweet memory imprinting glow.

 

This was back in the days when bullets bounced off my chest. I was a two-pack-a-day-case-of-beer-every-night man and I could eat anything and stay slender. I did not have much more than an abstract concept of the word “impossible.”

 

I traded the Camaro in on a more practical car when I was older…and yet I sometimes wonder where it is now. I would like to think it is in the hands of one of those car guys that show it off on weekends, and lovingly restore every detail.

 

I would hate to think it wound up crushed. That car had heart.

 

This car was obviously someone’s pride and joy. I look at it and I KNOW there was a summer day in its past when it rumbled down the streets and made pretty girls turn their heads…and when its faceless owner tried very hard to act like he didn’t know everyone was looking at him and his smoking hot car.

 

In my mind’s eye I can see the proud owner pulling up in this sweetheart beside another fast car at a traffic light, gunning the engine in challenge --- and screeching away from the lights leaving only a cloud of pungent smoke behind.

 

But even the flames are gone from the side now and the insides have been gutted.

 

Now it’s here and it will never race again. Maybe it will get crushed and will come back in another car…some soulless family minivan, maybe. Or lawn furniture.

 

I wonder if it has any kind of memory imprinted in its metal…if it will ever “remember” there was a time when it tore up the streets with reckless abandon.

 

Probably not.

 

It IS just metal, right?

 

Uh huh.

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Taken on July 31, 2009