Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Investment's Car

The Investment finally has his car running.

This has been a long hard struggle for him, to get his 1971 Datsun 510 from a lump of metal to a lump of metal that works.

Oh, it's beat up as shit, there is no insulation inside, so, road noise is huge, the heat comes off the engine.... you open the passenger door from the outside. Windows don't roll up perfectly, and the transmission is missing a gear.


He got it running. He knew nothing about cars, didn't grow up around a dad, my father was not in any condition to help... he bought this car from a woman who swore it was in great shape, she had a husband in Iraq (like his brother at the time), she was a Christian, she said... trust her.

And, he paid her a down payment, scrimped and saved and paid her on time every month until he paid it off. She sold him a huge lemon.

Sure, he gets a bit down at times... he'll get one thing done, and then something else goes bad.


He's learned to re-build a car, he has a look of pride when he gets in it, he has made this thing run.

We zipped around town, laughing at how loud it is, and he told me his work he wants to do.... how he's going to get the transmission replaced, going on and on. I listen, having no idea what headers are or what they do, feeling pride in this 6'5" lanky, man, with his knees up under the steering wheel... me unable to turn towards him because the seat belt cuts me across the neck, and he talks of the new ones that will go in.

We drive down the street, the car with a few different colours on it, some rust... the guy who passed it for inspection was picked up for heroin possession last week, explaining now how the car managed to pass. We zip between other cars, his voice telling me about how this model raced, and on and on.

I'm proud of him. I'm always proud of him, of his siblings... here, though... he's worked hard, he kept on persevering, he is sticking with this project. We laugh about the car, but, our laughter is tinged with pride... his for having a car that runs, mine for what he's come to, from where he once was. And, I can see where he'll go, now, as he's gaining his confidence in who he is, what he can do when he puts himself forward. He's starting to believe in himself. Yes, I can see all the places he'll go.

More than likely, driving that car.


harrietv said...

How wonderful that he was able to learn all about the car! Please congratulate him from me.

Peter Varvel said...

Very impressive!
He has every right to be proud - as do you.

Rebekah said...

it's incredibly clever and admirable.and i'm still amazed at your way with words

Solomon said...

There's a sense of pride that one can only get from keeping/maintaining something physical like that.

It might not be worth much money, but I bet it's worth a fortune in emotional terms.

austere said...


Everytime I come here, you leave me with a lump in my throat.

Remember that lady with the ramrod straight back? Every morning I've been thinking of her, and powdery snow...and I shake my head, and not comment for what's to comment?

the Constantly Dramatic One said...

This is a great piece. And I'm with Auster and the whole lump in the throat thing and all I have to too. Me to.....

Cormac Brown said...

Good for the Investment and he made an excellent choice if there isn't a lot of rust.

I don't know what "headers" are either, but I know the 510 handles great and with a little work, it can be turned into a sportscar. Even better still, if he drops a Datsun 240Z engine into it, he will be nearly impossible to catch.

Quin Browne said...

oh, yeah, cormac, like i'm going to be happy when that happens! (he's already talking about it)

thank you, austie and cd~you always make me blush.

solomon~you are right is worth a fortune.

rebekah~i think he's terribly clever, too! and thank you... : )

peter~he's a hoot. folded up so that he has to move his left leg to put on the turn signal... can you see him in the smartcar?

sortamom~he said thank you.

Alone on the Isle said...

He is a better man than I -- I would have walked away with my tail between my legs, accepting that I had been "took" yet again. Good for him for sticking it out -- perseverance is an amazing attribute. My hat it off to him.

Veronica said...

"the guy who passed it for inspection was picked up for heroin possession last week, explaining now how the car managed to pass."

OK, that was just brilliant.

Sending lots of good thoughts toward your home town this weekend.

Quin Browne said...

b~he is learning, we all do.

v~thanks... i'm worried like mad.

coastrat said...

What a beautiful post, Quin! Good for The Investment, and good for you!

I know of a State Motor Vehicle Inspector down here that sounds like the fellow out there.