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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

I was getting groceries at Krogers when my phone rang.  It was about the Datsun and 15 minutes later I was talking to an old man and his daughter beside N. Broadway where its been parked.  He was in a Nissan pickup truck and I thought I had a chance because his generation likes to stick with one “make.”  (Some of you may not know that Datsun changed its name to Nissan in the early 80s.) 

I had the title in my pocket and I was ready to accept anything because I’m gone in a week. 

We lift the hood and he gives me and his daughter a mechanical lesson as I nod and chime in with things I’ve heard in the last 5 months to say about the mysteries that lie under car hoods.  Then he asked if I could start it up.

Please start.  Nope.  Nope again.  Starts and dies.  Sputters.  Nope.  Nope.  Starts and sounds ugly, then dies.  It starts and finally turns over.  It was probably the easiest time I can remember having with it.  I’m used to trying until I kill the battery and have to jump it, then kill the ignition switch and then have to hotwire it.  So embarrassing.   

So we take a spin around the block and that’s it.  She likes it.  His offer is really low but I talk him up 100 bucks and its still really low.  I was willing to take my haircut on it because, well, am I going to New York or not?  Plus we’re in a recession.  I didn’t have any investments to lose so I took my whooping man to man in that parking lot instead. 

On my way to the bank I was sad.  When you drove the Datsun you were always in the oldest, coolest, and wackiest car that you would see out.  I’ll miss that.  I left the bank and got in the Corolla and it reliably started and then unextraordinarily the heat came on and the radio worked.  The clock was right and none of the engine lights permanently glared.  The floorboard wasn’t wet because the roof doesn’t leak.  The dashboard had no cracks and the cloth seats were softer than old vinyl.  It got me almost home without anybody turning their head for a second look.  I was sitting at a light when something caught the corner of my eye.  At a gas station right there was the orange Datsun 610 stationwagon.  Everybody else pumping their gas was looking at it.  Who could be in a car with such panache? 

Not me.  I hope she likes it.



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