Monday, December 04, 2006

'56 Buick

I dreamed I was a 1956 two-toned Buick convertible last night, all chrome and lines and weight and portholes down the gills. I was hard to steer and a train to stop. Both are metaphors for me and my life. From one location to another, I gathered up wads and rolls of money and stash them in my car.

Steering one direction or another is not an easy task to get me to do. Neither is stopping. These are functions I must decide to do on my own. I am intractable.

We had a 1956 two toned Buick hard top when I was growing up. It was red and black. My sister Lynda and I would climb out of the bedroom window after my parents went to sleep and put it in neutral, pushing it from the carport down our shale driveway to go for a ride. I was 14 and knew how to drive. Donna Jean taught me in the 1952 Chevy stick-on-the-column daddy had souped up for my mom. He and mama would stand at the kitchen window and laugh as the Chevy lurched and bumped up and down the road while DJ tried to show me the finesse of using a clutch. And daddy had let me drive the Chevy all over the palmetto stumped back acre of our land before that. Lynn was 3 years younger than me and was always up for a good time.

Sometimes, Lynn and I would go to Harold's Drive-In on East Broadway in our part of town and buy just one cherry coke and share it. Those were the days when the cherry syrup had to be added by squirting it out of a deep metal soda well. Sometimes, we just drove around the roads in front of and around the house. Once, we heard of a party that was way too old and dicey for us and went anyway. It was over at the lake by the old Agricultural Fairgrounds off of Orient Road and Buffalo -- all woods then. I got the rear tire of the Buick sunk in a deep ravine which threatened to dump all the Buick's tonnage into the lake. Some really big highschool boys came over, lifted the car out of the ravine and sent us home. We were already headed that way since we saw that this party was way out of our league.

Daddy must have caught on after several of these late night cruises because our old fashioned windows were replaced with crank open Miama (sic) windows soon after the car lifting ceremony.

Me and Lynn had other rides as kids. Bobby and Billy Tilly purloined an old mule from the Cattleman's stock yard auction lot and hid him in the white sands that were behind our property. We -- all the neighborhood kids -- had spent the day fetching and toting grass and other edibles by the handsfuls to make him at home and gave him enough little red apples out of a sack in the refrigerator to give him a good case of the fruit-shits. We were delighted with the company of the mule.

That night, after bedtime, we snuck out of the window. This was BEFORE the Buick episodes by some years, so it really did take daddy a while to catch onto our adventuring. Daddy came in to check on us and picks up the story from here:

"I called for Diane and Lynda, looked all over the yard, and am about to run up the path to the neighbor's house when I see these two heads bobbing up and down over the tops of the palmettos in the moonlight. I get closer and could hear Diane singing 'Tennessee Stud' to the top of her lungs and Lynda joining the chorus.

Here they were, riding a mule that looked like it was a runaway from the soap factory."

Daddy sent us home after paddling our asses and tied the mule up in the yard. The Sheriff came and got the mule the next day along with rounding up Bobby and Billy.

When I was a little older, me and mama were headed out to the clothesline with baskets when here came the Sheriff with Bobby and Billy pushing a long race car across the back lot to the road. Bobby and Billy grinned at us and said 'Hey', and the Sheriff tipped his hat to mama, "Mornin', Miz Von". We didn't get to ride in the racer before the Sheriff found it hiding in the palmettos. The Tilly boys weren't very imaginative about their hiding places for pilfered goods. You could find just about anything missing from our end of town in the palmettos behind our property. And one of the Tilly boys were usually involved.

In my dream symbols, cars are always ME, my vehicle, my path, my next adventure. So I guess that I'm about to be set up stubborn on something in my life again. I don't know what it could be because I am currently filled with that inordinate bliss, cheerfulness, and contentment that is my normal state of being when not dealing with death, destruction, illness, or other aggravations of that ilk. Until I find out what I'm getting ready to ride on that requires hard steering and two feet on the break pedal, I'll bob along with the mule.

1 comment:

Martha Marshall said...

Woo girl. That's some fine story telling.