by Kip Hanson
When I was eighteen I bought a 67’ Chevelle for five hundred bucks from a guy at work who was looking for some quick cash to score a pound of bitching Columbian. My buddy Paul and I towed the car back to the apartment building and worked on it every weekend, tearing it down into a greasy mountain of parts and hopeful that we could put it all back together again, but better, faster – bolting on a wicked intake manifold and roaring headers and lifters that went tick-tick-tick, a thirsty 4-barrel and a screaming cam, and fat sticky tires wrapped around mag wheels that glittered in the summer sun. We cruised our suburban streets every night, drank beer and smoked dope and picked up loser chicks, impressing them with shitties in the grocery store parking lot and burnouts at the mall, we drove until the street lines faded and the lights went dark, until the day we grew up and I sold the fast car, got a good job and a house, a wife and a three-car garage; Paul knocked some girl up, moved away, and I never saw him again. Coming in from the garage yesterday with an armful of groceries, I heard the phone ring; it was Paul's Mom, calling to tell me her son had finally succeeded in drinking himself to death and had bled out on the floor of his apartment, and that there wouldn’t be a funeral because he didn't deserve one. So now my friend is dead and the car is gone, both broken down into piles differing only slightly in size and composition – one of burnt bone fragments, the other of twisted, rusted metal – and I think about that car, and how if I had kept it I could drive away from all this, from the empty stall of the three-car garage, the house I feed with my life and the job where I spend my days like so much endless money, how if I had that car I would fill the tank, light up a fat one, and think about Paul. We would drive away from everything and keep on going; cruise until the road ends, the lights go out, and be free once more.
Kip Hanson occasionally spends time on The 6S Social Network.