Coming to America 9


Stylin’ in My Pinto…
As promised, every day, Danny, (the used car salesman) would pick me up and take me to his dealership. On the first day, he started out as an enthusiastic driving instructor but by the end of that first session, I sensed he had lost his eagerness to teach. And what was the deal with that grating sound whenever I would change gears anyway? Did he sell me a lemon? Admittedly, I was not the most apt pupil so I was not offended when I had a different driving instructor (salesman) each day.

On the final day of my driving lessons I was supposed to drive my Pinto home. I wasn’t ready. One of the older salesmen, Bill, gave me the keys and in a wise, fatherly manner said, “Look, I know you’re scared to drive it by yourself but just take it out for a spin and when you come back, we’ll have you ready to go – You’ll be fine” as he slapped me on the back.

I returned to the dealership inconsolable. I had stalled out at every complete stop and ended up getting lost. Bill took one look at my mascara-smeared, tear-streaked face and brought me to the back Staff Break Room. “I’ve made a terrible mistake” I cried. He had me sit down and tell him “all about it”. Pouring a glass of whiskey and passing me a lit, filter-less cigarette, (I am not kidding) “Your nerves are shot.” he said, handing me the whiskey.

Sobbing on a worn naugahyde sofa, smoking and drinking in the back room with an old used car salesman, my litany of despair and self doubt began..."I should never have bought this car in the first place – I don’t even know how to drive it.” My blabbering continued on endlessly to Bill's sympathetic ear about my lousy decision making abilities, coming to Dallas alone, not having a car, hating my job, blah, blah, blah, blah. It was clear that he had taken all he could stand from a twenty-one year old, cheap drunk. As I continued to yammer on, he silently led me outside and into my car. “Go home” he said handing the car keys to me. I was braver now and did as I was told.  Part 10: Blue

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Unknown said...

I love the picture of you in the Pinto! It's "so you"!