At 19, I bought a ’69 Plymouth Fury station wagon,
brand new to some unknown nuclear-family when I was only 10.
No family to haul on vacation, no suburbia to impress
a bag of groceries every week or two at best
wasn’t the car of a typical teen’s dreams, but of mine.
A modified Detroit behemoth; Chrysler custom-bored 486
with power to spare; a friend and I pegged 120 once, on a dare.
Vinyl bucket seats, to boot. Semi-cool comfort, at least.
Back seat folded down, I had a rolling den of potential iniquity
carpeted with hemmed-edge samples from a local furniture store;
psychedelic mosaic in varying depths and shades of ‘70’s shag
my friend Jeff and I could double date, lie four abreast on the
open tailgate at the local drive-in, sometimes watching the movie.
My friend Rick drove a ’68 ‘Cuda; Kelly, a Kelly-green Camaro
Jeff drove a yellow Monza and Mike a purple-and-primer GTO
a simple revving of their engines caused girls heads to turn
smiles to entice, weekends to take immediate shape.
I had to work a little harder at all that.
Like most of my younger romances, I drove it to the very end,
leaving it dead on the shoulder of a northern Minnesota two-lane;
took the memories and the keys with me, think about it now and
then it’s a guy thing…there’s just something about that first car.
Even a ’69 Plymouth station wagon.