2000. Berkeley, CA
i had a really cool car when isabelle was born. an old plymouth with huge fins. it was
the type of car that people recognized when they saw it and honked, usually giving a
thumbs up. i got notes left on the windshield; “if you ever decide to sell your car
please call me” with a name and number.
but old cars are hard to keep in repair; it leaked in the winter and the brakes were bad. i
couldn’t find anyone to work on it, so i stopped driving it. the worst thing you can do with
an old car is not drive it. i knew i had to sell it to someone who would keep it running.
i contacted the person i bought the car from. she had sold it under dire circumstances – her
mother was sick and she needed the money.
she was thrilled to have the chance to buy it back.
when she came to pick the car up i kind of panicked. maybe i was making a huge mistake. i
knew i’d be less cool without the car, but how much less? i’d already bought another car.
a sensible car. but i still owned the plymouth – that counted for something.
i told the woman i couldn’t sell it. i was sorry, but i just couldn’t part with it.
she was disappointed but understood.
a few weeks later i called her again. she came over, and that time i did sell it to her.