Saturday, July 9, 2011

Zipping along

An unmodified, electric blue Stingray has just sped past and looking down from the bus one noticed that the driver was old enough to know better. It made one smile because all one could hear was Hobbit (who is alive and well, and living on his tropical island at 93) saying when you get older you need better bait. Which when thinking about it wasn't necessarily true, as he could be charming enough to get past any woman when he had a mind to. Thinking about all the people one has known who had sports cars one thinks it would be fairer to say that the cars were reflections of their personalities.

Hobbit was famous for his Bentley, it was called the Bumble Bee due to its colour scheme, and it was a stand up joke on radio that all you could see were his knuckles clutching the steering wheel. He wasn't a tall man. And given his propensity to drive like Mr. Magoo it was also an unfortunate image. Fortunately by the time we got together he had switched cars.

He had a golden Mercedes 350SL which one learnt to drive in. An experience he always swore made him grey. It was like driving a tank with power steering, but boy could that baby float on the road and hug a curve. Unfortunately it also used to float past police cars... which might have contributed to the grey.

There was Sue with her powder blue Stag. The one that's roof would never open when it rained and its tendency to break down on bridges. Not to mention the door that would just stick. Actually that damn car was as temperamental and as difficult as its owner... but a lot of fun nevertheless.

Then there was the lovely Lynnie (a story for another time) with her bright yellow Triumph. It was the love of her life and like most of them did not reciprocate her feelings... that car hated her. Every morning she would go skittering out the door, she could do the white rabbit like no other, in ridiculously high heels, dripping nails and 12 inch hair. And every morning the car would not start. We would lie in bed and wait for her to come back in wailing about how she was late and Hobbit would have to go down and start the car... first time, every time.

Last but not least was the ex and her beloved MG... black with gold pinstripes... all flash and quirks. Electrics that stopped at a whim and a mysterious leak that meant when we went out in the rain one's feet ended up in a puddle. She bought it after our divorce... in both our names of course 'cos nothing about our separation was normal. Eventually as her back got worse she had to sell it and buy something modern with suspension... it broke her heart having to give it up.

To all of these people their cars represented status, an achievement if you will, but in every case they represented freedom from others. The ability to just drive off with the roof down, the wind in their hair and the sun on their face. The cars might have been creatures of capricious tendencies, but so were the owners and they roar across ones memories forever on the move.

1 comment:

Mockingbird said...

What a nice post... As I'm getting a little older and further away from the *interesting* people I used to be friends with, I remember their shitty cars more fondly than I do them.