Tuesday, June 24, 2008


The first car I ever considered to be my own was a '77 Dodge Royal Monaco. Dubbed the Big Blue Beast, she was over 18 feet of Carolina blue steel with a white vinyl top. A 400/4 barrell under the hood, I flipped the breather cap for just that extra little umph of horse power... And so I could almost feel it when that carb roared.
I drove that car like I had stolen it. We saw triple digits on many an occasion. No good reason I'm not dead and gone.
Stephanie was a couple of years younger than me. Big blonde hair and a body that brought many a young man to his knees. She wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but she was a lot sharper than most people gave her credit for.
I wasn't the kind of guy a girl like her should date, but we became pretty close.
I used to take her out for long drives in the country. The Beast had been a luxury car in her day and came with an 8-track, six speaker stereo system... Stock. I had a cassette adaptor so we could listen to other music than the Lynyrd Skynyrd and Foghat 8-tracks I had or K94, the rock station out of Virginia.
One afternoon she wanted to learn how to drive... She wanted to drive my car. I was 17, so she was 15, old enough to have a learner's permit, but she hadn't had driver's ed yet. I'm pretty sure I put up token resistance, but we both knew I stood no chance. All she had to do was lock those deep greens onto my baby blues and I would have ripped the earth off of its foundations for her.
Here's the picture. Cruising along at 55-60 on a two lane back road that cut through the landscape like a black and yellow racing stripe. Fields of dusty peanut plants and olive drab tobacco broken up by the deep, green woods of pine and oak. The sun is shining, the engine roaring, all four windows down. The radio turned up too loud, her hair blowing around her head like golden flames, emerald irises locked on me. The word "please" never escaped her lips... It never had to.
I closed my eyes to break her stare and started to pull over.
She touched my shoulder and shook her head. "No." was all she said.
She adjusted her skirt and slid closer to me. She lifted those perfect hips and wriggled herself onto my thigh and then down between my legs. For one perfect moment she was pressed against me, my arms around her, all four of our hands on the wheel... Ten, two, nine and three.
I took my foot off the gas and hers was there immediately, propelling us and several tons of steel down the highway for the first time in her life. slowly I let go of the wheel and slid myself from behind her to the passenger side.
I couldn't take my eyes off of her. She was the most beautiful thing I had seen up to that point in my life... That vision is still pretty high on the list, the wind whipping her clothes and hair, that look of thrill and pleasure and satisfaction on her face. If I had died right then and there, it might have been worth it.


The next day, some of Pop's friends were standing around the bed of his truck in our front yard, two bottles on the tailgate, one of bourbon one of Sundrop (think Mountain Dew) when I wheeled into the yard.
One of them looked at me and said, "I see you got your car fixed."
My response was a confused "Huh?"
"The steering. I see you got the steering fixed."
"There's nothing wrong with the steering."
"Funny, I passed you yesterday with that cute little thing in your car and it was taking both of you to turn the wheel."

You know, it was worth that too.



At June 25, 2008 12:10 AM, Blogger Austin said...

Sundrop and Bourbon is a wonderful mixture... ah memories of Tennessee.

At June 25, 2008 3:34 PM, Blogger K-nine said...

Not many people remember Sundrop. First drink I ever shared with my Pop was Old Forrester bourbon and flat sundrop... no ice.

At June 25, 2008 5:41 PM, Blogger Austin said...

Yup, we had sundrop at Sewanee. Could pick it up at the Piggly Wiggly in Monteagle, TN


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