Friday, April 11, 2008

To my small town via Puerto Rico

As I pulled up in front of my small town's one and only remaining hardware store, I noticed a new face smiling at me through the enormous plate glass windows facing the street.

I mustered up a grin and a male-grunt-and-greet-head-nod to the smiling fellow and made my way inside. While chirping my car closed I noticed that Mr. New Smiley Face Guy in the window guy wasn't actually smiling at me...he was smiling at my car.

In the ensuing months since the fateful auto-themed exchange between Mr. New Smiley Face Guy and I through the hardware store window where he works, every conversation we've had during my hardware store runs involve my car, the car he wants to get, the car he used to have back in Puerto Rico, the fastest car in Puerto Rico he knows about, the fastest car he thinks he can make while here, where the closest Pick-a-part is, what cars they have at the closest Pick-a-part, the car he looked at the other day but didn't buy, the car that drove by the store the other day, and the car he owned back in Puerto Rico that is again for sale that he might buy and ship here.

I see what he's doing.

He's grasping for a tidbit, a trace, a morsel of what was his one true passion from his previous life that he had to give up when he relocated off his island homeland seeking better opportunity with his extended family...here in my small town.

I feel his pain.

Or at least, I felt it when I was transitioning to life on the prairie and the opportunities for a great passion of mine (hot rod/car shows and car part swap meets) all but dried up

Not so much a pain, I guess. More like a distraction.

He'll get over it

I did.

Sorta.

Where are my El Camino's keys...I'm going for a drive.

Wait, I gotta fold some laundry first.

Shut up.

2 comments:

Emily said...

I didn't get the whole car-culture, big-powerful-engine thing until we adopted -- er, I mean, bought -- Gretchen, and I learned that the phrase, "Yep, she's got a 327" will open more doors than a Wonderbra.

There's just nothing quite as satisfying as catching a stranger ogling your truck. :)

OKDad said...

Wow, you totally get "it."

Now that you get "it," could you explain "it" to my wife.

Her favorite phrase when we see a car with a stick shift is, "Don't they know they have cars that do THAT for you nowadays?"

Maybe when I finish restoring her old Buick and stick that big block in it for her, she'll change her tune and finally get "it."

Dream on.