Farewell

There’s a certain type of guy who sells his pick-up truck for cash. I’m not that kind of guy. That guy is worldly, capable. He’s the sort of guy who can pop open the hood and spot the trouble areas. Me? I know where the gas goes. I can change a tire, but it will take me an hour to do so.

At one point, I was worldly, in a cityish soft of way. I jaywalked. I could parallel park with a couple of inches to spare. I didn’t flinch when a gang of teens approached. I’m no longer a city guy. I’m small-town. Wet behind the ears. I’m out of my depth in the city.

But I’m not that country either. Country guys are the ones who sell their pick-up truck for cash. A couple of weeks ago, I went to a meeting. As part of the orientation for my job with a domestic violence organization, I was required to attend a batterers support group meeting. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s a support group for men who have beaten up women. Because I was representing my company, I wore my outfit from work. Tan dress-pants, a polka-dot oxford, and my robin-egg-blue vee-neck sweater. I spent two hours feeling like a priss.

The men in the meeting were all tough-guys: ratty jeans and camouflage cargos. T-shirts and flannel. Even the counselor. Everyone had a beard. After fifteen minutes, I shrugged back into my sporty raincoat. Not much tougher, but anything to disguise that polka-dot shirt. These guys buy and sell cars with cash.

This morning I sold my truck. Or at least I set the wheels in motion. A guy gave me a crisp hundred dollar bill and a handshake. He eyeballed the frame. He popped open the hood, started the engine and listened for a minute. Then he pulled out the cash. Worldly. Capable. We’ll finish the deal on Monday. In Pennsylvania a notary’s signature is required to sell a car. This isn’t available on a Sunday in Gettysburg.

I pulled out the title this morning. I’ve been wondering how long I’ve owned my truck. It seems like an eternity. I bought it when Susan went to massage school and I needed something to drive while she was in class. She’s been a massage therapist for, like, forever. As it turns out, this phase of my life started in 2011. In those seven years, I only drove nine thousand miles in the truck.

Have you tried Facebook Marketplace? I’m pleasantly impressed. I posted my truck advertisement last night at dinner time; I had it sold by breakfast. According to Facebook, four hundred people viewed my ad. I haven’t heard much about Facebook Marketplace. But I read about Craigslist all the time. That’s where criminals find random people to murder. Susan was worried that I was giving our address to strangers on Facebook.

The guy who bought my truck was a gentle older man. He has the same model at home, and it needs some parts. It once belonged to his son, but now his son is dead. I think keeping his truck on the road is some sort of a metaphor. I’m just glad my truck isn’t going to someone who needs reliable transportation. The guy who bought it, he knows what he’s getting.

TruckWhat he’s getting is a twenty-five year old piece of crap held together with bumper-stickers. For seven years. every time I drove it outside the Gettysburg town-limits, I experienced an anxiety attack. The only time I drove it for more than an hour, the radiator failed–leaving Sophie and me stranded on the side of the highway.

This morning on Facebook I posted this picture with the message “So long, old friend.” And an old friend it is. The sort of friend you love even though he’s unreliable. You love him because he has character, because he makes you a better person.

For seven years, this truck has been my signature look. A way to easily identify me out and about. Now I’m in a minivan.

15 thoughts on “Farewell

  1. My first car was a 1970 Datsun 510. I loved that car. I cycled through a few generic used cars until I was in a minivan. I held out against the minivan. I didn’t want to be a minivan mom. I wound up loving that minivan. My ex killed it. He was rough on cars. Now I drive a Prius.
    Our cars say something about us, even if it’s just the stickers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Tan dress-pants, a polka-dot oxford, and my robin-egg-blue vee-neck sweater. I spent two hours feeling like a priss.” Laughed out loud! I know how much you loved your truck and had wanted it to live forever. I am happy it found a buyer so quickly for you. I bought my first car with cash – Subaru Justy for $1700 that I had earned working the fast food counter at Arby’s for a few years. Well, my dad drove me into the city to meet with the guy who put the ad in the paper – and handled the conversation and transaction. I just provided the funds – so I guess he is the one that gets the title of “I buy cars with cash” not me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Never had a car. I’m lucky I live in a small city where I can walk most places, use public transportation and the bike for the rest.

    That support group meeting is surely an excellent topic for an essay.

    Like

  4. So long, Punk Truck. I’ve had my current car for 12 years, though I’ve been far harsher to it than you to yours. It only had 13K miles and an almost new car (but really 4 years old and not driven) smell when I bought it. Now, it’s running at 146K, has a zip-tied bumper, a check engine light that comes on in the winter and disappears in the spring, and a sunroof that likes to think it’s Christine and opens itself. I’m shooting for 50K more but she’s getting awfully tired. I’ll be lucky to get it towed to the junkyard for free, like the garage was nice enough to do when my last one went ka-plow. But that’s why I have AAA+. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fortunately my new old car, the family minivan, is approaching clunker status. 11 years, 130K miles. Bur in truth, it looks sort of newish. Now it’ getting about ten mile per week. it should last forever,

      Liked by 1 person

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