She Leaks

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]wo days ago, I saw an old truck at a traffic light. There was no mistaking it. A red, oil-leaking, ’79 Chevy, with a mutilated rear bumper, and a dent on the tailgate the size and shape of a mailbox. It used to be mine, before I sold it long ago.

The new owner glanced at me, flicked his cigarette into the road, then rolled up his window.

It was a good little truck. I bought it with a shoebox of cash, from a man in Straughn, Alabama, who told me upfront, “She leaks oil.”

“Don’t we all, sir,” I replied. “It’s no problem.”

Well, it turned out to be a big problem. Every driveway I ever blessed, bore an irregular-shaped black splotch, making me famous with the girls.

Once, I slept in that truck. Behind a church in Franklin, Tennessee. The next morning, I donned a necktie, and watched my friend get married.

As a young man, I drove the truck to job-sites. I learned to lay tile, brick, hang gutter, and build decks. During which period, I also learned to confront dishonest employers. And once, while shoved against the hood of that truck, I learned how to take a whipping from a boss twice my age.

In that ’79 Chevy, I learned how to open passenger-doors for ladies in heels. I also discovered not everyone in this world is looking for love. No, the truth is, some folks don’t know what they’re looking for. Whatever it is, it sure as hell isn’t love.

When the light turned green, Little Red charged forward, same as it used to. I can’t believe it’s lasted this long. It always was a sturdy thing, by God. A lot stronger than I ever gave it credit for.

And I’m not talking about the truck.