Written for Advanced Non-Fiction Workshop
|My engine roars. For 11 out of the 12 years I’ve been driving, I still get a small, secret pleasure out of gunning it. I maneuver through this town like a tightly controlled maniac. I know the laws, I know almost all the posted speed limits for any given area, and I typically go exactly the posted speed. My job demands I get you your food as fast as I can. The goal is to get there quickly without breaking any laws to get myself pulled over
120.4 miles in three days. I spend about six hours every evening driving all over this town. I know almost every street; I can get you almost anywhere you need to go. I know North, South, East, and West, although East and West tend to take me a minute to confirm their directions.
I’m wearing my favorite sunglasses, they’re Hello Kitty inspired knock offs in my two favorite colors: black and purple. I just discovered the little purple bow on the top left corner is falling off. I like them so much because they slip over my prescription frames like an old lady.
The 2001 Mazda Tribute I’ve affectionately named “the Trib” seems to need some encouragement getting over this familiar hill on this under maintained street. I think it knows where we’re going, and it hates this place as much as I have grown to. After three years and approximately $15,000, I finally tired of the swift decline in the demographics of my neighbors. It was clear the office preferred the quick money of moving in some strange character they failed to investigate the background of. But my experience as a whole isn’t the only reason I hate this place, the layout is terrible.
As I come to the edge of the store’s parking lot, my brakes rumble and my car shudders. The Trib is tired, begging constantly to retire with every turn of the ignition. But sadly, that cannot happen, it’s my livelihood, my work, my joy, my old faithful friend. I’m reminded daily by the small engine symbol glowing a gentle amber from the bottom of the dashboard that the Trib is tired.
One after another, deliveries appear on my dispatch screen. I check tickets for soda’s or salads I would otherwise forget, check for side cups of ranch, then shove three packages of parmesan cheese and two packets of crushed red pepper flakes into the little pouch on the warming bag. With the receipt I head out again, taking off swiftly from the parking lot as soon as I get a safe chance. Every time we leave I can’t help but think about how good the Trib has been these last 13 years, and how I will always appreciate all it’s done for my family, and now just me.