1970 Chevelle SS: Garage POW

The Story of a 1970 Chevelle SS, told by the car itself.

I don’t remember the day I was born, but I have a faint image of the moment they slapped these shiny SS badges on me. Sitting center stage on the showroom floor can give any car a massive ego. I sat there sporting my arrest me red paint, and black racing stripes, just day dreaming of the day I get to strut my stuff on the sunset strip. Then one day the call came in that I had been purchased over the phone, which made me a little sad. I always felt that whoever was going to buy me was going to walk into the dealership and stop dead in their tracks when they say me and all my muscle car glory. Then they would open the hood to stare at my 454 cubic inch heart, and the salesmen would utter my favorite phase, “most powerful muscle car on the market for 1970.”

I didn’t get to go out much after I was delivered to my new home. I mostly stayed covered up in the garage, I didn’t even know who my owner was. During my first week, as I was sleeping in the garage when I was awoken by lights coming on and felt the cover being brushed across my panels to expose one of my headlights – I could see a small boy looking at me. He must have been maybe ten years old, still wearing his PJ’s as he stared at his reflection on my chrome bumper. “When my big brother comes back from his tour we are going to have so much fun going fast. He said he would teach me how to drive a 4-speed with you.” The little boy said as he ran his little fingers across my flawless paint. I wondered if the boy’s big brother was my new owner, I couldn’t wait to meet him.

At least once a week the little boy, who I overheard his mother call Johnny once, came to visit me at night. Sometimes he would sit in the driver seat and pretend to steer or turn on the radio, and once he fell asleep in one of my bucket seats. On weekends, Johnny’s father would come in and turn the key to start me up. It was one of the few times I got to hear my own voice and every time Johnny would stop whatever he was doing to listen to me. His eyes would widen in sync with my throttle. Whenever the father juiced the gas pedal and my 454 gave out a roar, Johnny’s eyes widened in excitement.

Johnny must have been very persistent because one day his father took me out of the garage and drove us around the block a few times. I never seen Johnny so happy and I felt so proud to be the reason for his happiness. The father even ran me through the gears to show Johnny how fast I was and I felt my tires get hot and sticky for the first time. I felt like I could catch, eat, and spit out anything on the road that dared to go wheel to wheel with me at a street light. A memory to last a lifetime for Johnny and his father.

I was getting attached to my family, and I hadn’t even met my real owner yet. Even though I wasn’t on the road as often I liked I was still able to gaze out in the afternoons and weekends when the garage door was opened and Johnny lifted the cover so I could see out and he could stare at me while he played out in the yard. Life was good during these months.

It was winter when I saw Johnny’s mother go to the mail box and opened a letter that made her drop to her knees in tears. Johnny and his father came to her aid, but soon they too fell to the ground in uncontrollable tears. That night, Johnny came in to the garage and covered me up. “I’m sorry”, was the last thing he said before he shut off the light and left me alone in the dark.

Johnny stopped visiting me after that night. His father stopped opening the garage door and instead started to use me as a shelf to put his tools and boxes. Over time I felt the oil in my system begin to run down into the bottom of the pan, and my tires begin to lose air until I was sitting on my magnum 500 wheels. After a few years you couldn’t tell a car was sitting in the garage for I was completely covered in stuff. The depression was unbearable so I decided to just go to sleep.

I had no idea how much time had gone past when I was woken up by the sound of a commotion in the garage. I couldn’t see what the sound was but I started to feel weight being lifted off my hood. Someone was removing stuff looking for me! It took probably a whole afternoon of moving stuff around before the cover was removed and I could see day light once again. A young man stood before me wearing a black T-shirt with some kind of monsters drawn on it and had the word “KISS” written across it. He had long hair and smiled when he saw me. “Sorry it took me so long David…I’ll watch over it for you. I promise.” He said. It was Johnny! He was grown up now.

It took Johnny a few days to completely clear a path so I could be pushed out into the driveway. Out in the daylight I was treated to fresh gas, oil, battery, and a much needed detailing. Soon I was brought back to my younger years. Thankfully, being trapped in a garage for nearly a decade can retire the aging process.

The first time back on the road I couldn’t believe it, I thought I was going to wake up in darkness again. The other cars on the road looked a lot different from the last time I was out. Seeing cars with wild paint schemes and wearing huge fat tires with chrome side pipes. They looked wild! The gas tasted different as well, it had a very nasty aftertaste that I didn’t like at all but at least it kept me running. I was itching to stretch my wheels.

I soon got my chance when we stopped at a stoplight and a cousin Pontiac rolled up alongside me. Least I think it was a Pontiac, I wasn’t quite sure because it had an ugly gold bird painted on its hood and half of its roof was missing. My ego took a hit when I spotted a 455 Super Duty badge on its hood. “One cubic inch bigger than me, should I be nervous?” I thought to myself. Johnny gave the Pontiac’s driver the signal – the race was on.

I was amped up as I revved past 3,000 RPM wanting to launch into outer space. The light flashed green and I threw Johnny back in his seat as he tried to hang on to the shifter to change into second gear. Tunnel vision was setting in as I ran hard up to 60mph and I couldn’t see where the Pontiac was but I knew he wasn’t ahead of me. I didn’t want to stop and a gear change into fourth meant I was finally running flat out. I was doing what I was built to do all those years ago, go fast and look good doing it.

All these years of never knowing my real owner when all the while it was Johnny who was there, and even though he left me, he was the one who came back to rescue me. I was not left behind.

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2016’s Rant on 2015

Every holiday we celebrate comes with its own specific brand of optimistic anticipation. The problem with anticipation is that the results are never as good as the idea. New Years is the shortest holiday, yet it delivers the most anticipation. The holiday only lasts for one minute, but the effects of the build up to the idea of a new year can last from 2 weeks to a lifetime. The idea of a “clean slate”, to start over, reset, restart, or finally do a change in your life.

The year 2015, for me, felt like half a decade. A lot of change happened in that year as I transitioned between two big chapters in my life. The ending of my college career and the beginning journey into adulthood. It was also my first official year as a freelance writer. I met a lot of interesting, and wonderful, people who helped me lay the foundation for what will eventually prove to be a successful writing career. I added a few more job titles to my resume this year, first by working as a copywriter. Lived a brief fantasy of a, “starving artist”, during the summer of no steady work while looking for writing gigs. Days with nothing to do but flex my fingers on a computer screen describing the vivid details of my inner thoughts for no one’s eyes but my own.

A good friend of mine got married this year too. He is one of a small select group of friends that have been a part of my life for over a decade now. This year was a culture shock as my friends and I suddenly entered a new reality in which people we remember seeing on monkey bars and coloring with crayons are now getting married or having children. For someone who is still not completely sure what kind of person he is going to be, it is hard to cope with the idea of having another person’s life depending on you emotionally and financially.

Towards the end of 2015 I was looking at a fork in the road. Both roads are filled with rough terrain and possible stormy weather, but they end in the same peaceful destination. The difference between them is that one has a beautiful landscape while the other road feels like you are just going around in circles. I became a member of a writing association, which means I now have a real world opportunity to start my career as an automotive writer. A dream career of getting paid to write about my life’s hobby and seeing the world in the process. Some may think differently, but I am a strong believer in that if you do what you love the money will follow. Sadly, in order to do that you have to find a day job to keep the bills paid until the money starts following.

I ended 2015 by started my first ever “grown up” job. Working for Hertz. Renting cars as a glorified insurance salesman; pushing $65 a day full coverage on a Toyota Yaris with roll up windows to people who make me question Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Having to wear a tie while sitting in a grey colored office for a 10 hour shift sparks my deep fear of a “normal life”. Being normal, to me, means having the same routine for days on end. Doing the same thing over and over again is my greatest fear in life because that does not mean living. Everyday should be a different road that ends in the same destination. Working for Hertz does mean that I now have a steady form of income with a guaranteed opportunity for promotion and advancement. Theoretically, I could force down my anger and dislike for most humans and grow a career with Hertz. The money would be good, and I would be able to afford more toys for myself. However, that would mean I would have to be someone I am not, and work just so I can afford to be myself on weekends.

I do have the ability to sell someone a product, but I hate doing it. I like creating, not selling. I like putting words together and creating a sentence that will cause a reaction in someone’s subconscious when they read it. Selling forces you to shovel heaps of fertilizer in order to convince someone that their way of thinking is wrong. I have the luxury of youth so I have a choice in whether to dedicate 2016 to my writing career or my corporate career.

There is also the idea of going back to school and become a history professor. I want to do my part in helping burst the bubbles of blissful ignorance of future generations. Teaching young people on why those who do not remember their history are doomed to repeat it seems like a good way to help change the world for the better. 2016 will be my first official year as an adult and I have three possible career paths ahead of me, for now.

I can remember once reading a joke that went, “Writer’s block is when the voices in your head stop talking.” I remember it because not only did it make me laugh, it made me realize something I had not noticed before. Ever since I became serious about wanting to be a writer I have developed a little voice in my head that I never had before. Not a voice to tell me right from wrong, or prevent me from hurting myself, a voice that seems to have all the answers. A voice that creates its own dialog as I go about my day. I can be completely focused on a task at hand while the voice in the back of my head starts to rant and deconstruct my reality. I do not know if other writers have a similar situation, but that is how it works for me. When I write I am basically just writing whatever the voice seems to be talking about at that moment. Some of you may be curious as to what the voice in my head sounds like. It is hard to put into words, but the best way to describe it is that is sounds like my ego. I hear the voice and it sounds like my own, but with confidence in its tone. The kind of voice that could help a politician win elections. A blunt, serious sense of righteousness with zero doubt.

My low self-esteem is in constant battle with my furious ego. I have had a number of my articles published in over a handful of magazines, newspapers, and websites, yet I still feel like a kid with a BB gun trying to enter a gunslinger’s saloon. I write with a soul crushing paranoid fear that I am not good enough to be a famous writer, but with an entitled sense of pride that what I am typing will be quoted by students writing essays in decades to come.

So why am I writing this? Why is this the first thing I write about for the year? It came to me on New Year’s Eve. I was not feeling as happy as I should have been and couldn’t understand why. I began to play back the memories of past New Year’s and noticed that for each one I always felt a little neutral. It was because I was always so lost inside my own head trying to predict and fantasize what I wanted the New Year to be like.

This was the year when I became self-aware. The year when I became aware of how the world really works. Run by a selected few, and kept in power through marketing fear to the people. Politics is bought, not won. The world could end in my life time. Reading between the lines of society. Being part of a species that fights over its differences instead of bonding over its similarities. Being able to write is a blessing for it allows me to get all these frustrating emotions of all the unnecessary hate and disgust in the world and put it on to paper. I am truly grateful for that.

For those that read this, I am sorry if I sound conceded or entitled. I was merely speaking my mind exactly as it sounds in my head. This writing was just a reflection of my 2015, while dealing with my fear of uncertainty and optimism. I hope you were entertained at least and I wish all of you nothing but the absolute best for as many New Years as possible.