The New Ride
August 03, 2006
Oh you know you can't go on
Thinking nothing's wrong
Who's gonna drive you home tonight? – "Drive" by The Cars
Since my dearly departed Rocky committed hari-kari, I've had a hard
time finding an adequate replacement. That is to say, he can't be
replaced. No other automobile could possibly have the same character,
adventurous spirit and rugged durability that Rocky had. I realize
that, and am doing my best to keep an open mind.
But I just can't seem to find a new ride.
It took me a long time to start looking, even after my auto-buddy
was towed away. I allowed myself a certain grieving period while I
waited for the insurance check. And wait, I did.
When finally the nice insurance man cut me the modest but fair fee
for my deceased vehicular boyfriend, I wasn't too anxious to spend it.
So I waited some more, happily tooled around in Montclair until Sasha
came back to collect him, and then realized that it was finally time to
There are tons of cars for sale, all makes and models, colors and
quirks, qualities to admire and problems to fix. I'm getting the
impression that shopping for a vehicle is much like searching for "Mr.
Right." You've got your basic standards—he's gotta look good and run
well—and some varying modifications—scars are acceptable if the body is
solid, minor maintenance is okay as long as the engine is built to
last—with even more specific qualifiers—attractive, manly exterior,
soft and cushy interior, moderate lift and muscle, aggressive
acceleration but smooth ride, etc.
Mostly, you get to learn what you're looking for—or not, as the case may be—as you go along.
My first offer was from a newer, stockier Jeep. He was sporty in a
Southern California way, but a bit too expensive for my meager budget.
You know, a little too suburban metrosexual. Plus, I have no interest
in owning another Jeep. It's just too painful. So I really didn't even
give him the time of day.
The next proposition came from a 1995 Nissan Pickup with camper
shell. I was seduced by its simplicity, its humble history. Seems it'd
only had one or two previous owners, was used to long-term commitment,
liked to go on camping trips, was able to load up with a mattress in
the back and was flexible and ready for anything.
But also, it was a bit reserved—it wouldn't be for sale until its
owner left the island. Flighty, too. In fact, the truck and its owner
went M.I.A. shortly after I received my insurance check.
I then flirted with a red 1996 Nissan Sentra. It was kinda
old-school sexy, yet modest, and seemed to be reliable and efficient.
But there was just something lacking in its basic character that
inhibited me calling it back. Something about its stability bored me.
Honestly, I just think I wasn't ready to commit.
I had a close call with a 1994 Volvo Wagon. He was definitely within
my price range but from the outside, he looked a little seedy, with
strange gold paint and ghetto-darkened windows. However, on the inside,
he was comfortable, roomy and ready to take the team to soccer
Eek—a family car? But still, my friends seemed to like him. And I
could've forgiven the balding tires but he had this little problem
getting going, and also had somewhat of an oil leakage that I just
couldn't deal with, so I had to let him go.
Then I met the 1993 Honda Civic. Oh, he was bold, racy. And
dangerous. Fast and growling, slick black, lowered and chromed out to
the nines, he got a lot of attention when I drove him down the
street—maybe a little too much. I'm not the kind of girl who wants to
fight off swarms of admirers for my new four-wheeled love machine.
That's a little too high maintenance for me.
And so I'm still looking. I'll peruse the car ads, skim the bulletin
boards, listen to friends' "helpful" tip-offs, and remain hopeful that
someday, somewhere, my chariot awaits.
Samantha Campos will gladly accept
bios and photos of potential car-mates sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or 33
N. Market St., Suite 201, Wailuku, HI 96793. Thank you. MTW
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