Friday, August 25, 2006

New to Me

I got another car.

It appeared to be that holy grail of semi-collectible automobiles: the second car of a middle aged woman, far out in the leafy green country side. I Carfaxed it before hand, and at the end of my hour long journey through woods and farmland to the shop handling the sale, inspected every inch of the body, interior, engine, trunk, and under body, and examined it's history in the documents held alongside the factory issued owner's and shop manuals in a grey buckram and ivory washi paper interleaved slipcase in a compartment in the trunk. Everything checked out. It's never been in an accident, smoked in, or - by the looks of the blemish free bumper covers - parallel parked.

After purchase, I brought it to Carlos the mechanic for a complete and thorough evaluation.
He is the Argentian owner of the import garage halfway between home and work, where a number of people with more style than money or sense bring interesting, but ailing cars they can't really afford to own. I waited anxiously for his evaluation. Carlos feels for us all, a kindred spirit, a man who truly loves cars. Each diagnostic explanation is like counseling between a troubled soul and an empathetic priest, or your own former pediatrician attempting as much to save you as the afflicted child you've placed before him. He explains the car's requirements and the long and short term consequences of implementation - or when that point is inevitably reached - of witholding treatment. Carlos' deep brown eyes are mournfully but kind, and when he speaks his entire body, face and hands project his conclusions. When I entered the front of the shop, cool and dim just before closing, I saw him standing in the bright proscenium of the open bay door to the lot behind. He turned towards me as I crossed the spotless concrete, and the moment he realized it was me, his carriage morphed to broadcast his prognosis. I stepped into the light before his beaming benificence, the car beyond glistening under the blue blue clear and cloudless sky.

"That's a really nice car you got there," he said warmly, as he walked me toward the vehicle, "Everything is solid. Here's what you're going to want to do."
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