Monday, May 7, 2012

New Car

     The car was red and big, too big. She’d imagined something sleek and even sporty—maybe a convertible or something with a sun roof—an opening she could stick her hand out and wave at the gawkers as she made the turn into the school parking lot.
      No retractable roof. No sun roof. Hardly a window that rolled down all the way. The passenger window was stuck half open. Just needs oil, her father said. A little WD 40 will fix it right up.
     His answer to everything. WD-40, the all purpose lubricant. Well, WD 40 wouldn’t roll the roof back, wouldn’t cover the duct tape on the fender, wouldn’t buff the scrape along the door. Was it in an accident?
     Not necessarily, he said. Just shows a little wear.
     As he did. She looked at her dad, hair gone grey, what was left of it, thin cheeks, scrawny arms with broad wrists from 60 years of hauling, digging, climbing, hoisting. A man who’s a man has to work.
     Shows a lot of wear, she said.
     He nodded tentatively.
     Means it's been somewhere, she said. Done something.
     My point exactly.
     She read the relief on his face, the beginning of that smile that never broke open until he was sure how it would be received.
     She walked around the car one more time, kicked a rear tire to make him laugh, opened the passenger door—the one that showed less wear—let it slam shut. Sounds good, she said. Ran her hand along the dented fender. My favorite color, she said which was almost true.
     She paused, gazing at the car, not her father. I love it. Thank you. 
     Which was also almost true. She couldn’t look at him and say it, but she said it and loud enough for him to hear. Good enough.

© 2012 Kathleen Coskran

1 comment:

  1. This story made me think of my Dad. Good enough. Thanks, Kathy.