A fresh driver's license.
Factory sticker still on the window.
My first car
was a 2000 Chevrolet Xtreme. My father bought it for me new.
Basically, it was like a birthday present.
My brother used to race go-karts. These are
the kind of go-karts that can go at highway speeds and lead to
professional racing gigs. My brother used to race Danica Patrick.
I didn't want to race go-karts. But anyway - go-karting is very
expensive if you take it far enough - and my father never does anything
small - so in a way my father was making it up for me. My brother got go-karting and I got a new truck.
weren't looking for new at first. But then my father saw this white
truck on the lot and decided to buy it.
Having a brand new car is pretty stressful when
you're barely able to drive, let alone parallel park or backup.
But it's also a lot of fun.
The truck suffered some abuse from me - it got a
new bumper and a new front air-dam before I was through with it, but it
also got a lot of care.
I used to spend hours washing and cleaning it.
Because I'm obsessive compulsive, I noticed every new scratch or
evidence of wear, and I would freak out. But it still looked great.
Our favorite past times back then included
wandering around rural roads and almost getting lost but not
quite. It also enjoyed parking random places and turning up it's
stereo. We also liked to take on-ramps and off-ramps at excessive and
truck and I went through two girlfriends in high school and college. It
was great for proms and post proms, and it because it only really seated
two people, it was great for dates.
In between girlfriends, during our periods of
singleness, we also learned that nice cars do not really help attract
women. Which is opposite of every car commercial ever.
Sadly, when I went to college the truck didn't
come with me at first. It was a reunion when we'd meet up on those
weekends! When it finally did come to college it had to be parked
outside and I still didn't see it much. But it now had a hard bedcover
and some new speakers. It was still awesome.
Sometimes special people
would come with me to park the truck and walk back to the dorm, since
the parking lot was so far away.
we learned together that it's driveshaft has a high failure rate. So it
had to be rebuilt - about 2 times. But when it was all said and done the
truck was as smooth as ever. So to celebrate life, love, liberty, and a smooth
driveshaft, the Xtreme and I took a 4,000 mile road trip to the West
coast. We used 2 lane highways. We drove through mountains, we
rode through deserts, and we went through forests. Deep inside I knew it
would never get out that far again.
the twilight of our relationship we also enjoyed going to drive-in
movies. We also still took highway ramps at excessive speed
together, although I was older and more mature, so I no longer wore
sunglasses at night.
Harsh Illinois winters and salt helped rust form
on the truck.
It wasn't that I wasn't watching for rust - I was
- it was just hidden...and there wasn't much I could really do about it
once I saw it. It just needed some more time and some money - which
everyone is short on.
As I grew older I also realized that I really
needed to be able to carry more than 2 people in a vehicle. I also
began to think that 20 MPG on the highway wasn't as acceptable as it was
when gasoline was $1.50.
So the truck has a new home now. But I look
back on it fondly. And I know it's probably enjoying it's new
owner and the salt-free Missouri DOT. And I really do enjoy my new
vehicle, a Chevrolet HHR.
when I was pulling away in my new car, I took a picture of my truck
sitting cold in the parking lot - stripped of license plates, CD's, and
cell phone charger. It was raining. Wipers streaked back and
I swear I heard the S-10 confusedly calling me to
come back. To comeback for one more highspeed turn and one more roadtrip.
It didn't understand that I was leaving. But I understood.
The rain cried for us - tears we couldn't shed.
Here's to 88,000 miles together, truck.