Monday, February 14, 2011

No knight in shining armor just a red pony

Back in 2007 I was living in León, Guanjuato.  After a very disturbing highway accident (we were run off the highway by what looked a tank but turned out to be an old Chevrolet pick up), our gas mileage friendly Volkswagen Pointer was left crunched in half at the dealer's workshop.  With no car to drive and a full time job at the UGTO Physics Institute, I had no choice but to drive around a muscle car.  Doesn't sound so bad? The muscle car and I shared our birthdays; we were "manufactured" in the 1970´s! I am glad to say that I was in better shape than that car: it leaked oil, the hydraulic steering was ever so delicate, it had no seat belts, the list went on and on. I wrote this as diary entry as a way to vent some stress and intended to post it on my blog.  Four years later and a muscle car less, I have the best memories of that 1978 Mustang, our "red" pony.  

Grey Cloud, Red Horse

1978 Mustang II
I woke up this morning with a grey cloud hanging over my head.  As I rolled out of bed, my mood was ominous and drab.  I yelled at my bedmate, I cursed at the dog.  I packed away my breakfast in clear plastic boxes and slid out the front door.  The sun was shining brightly as I took steps towards my new car.  A brand new car. New to me, and my husband and five year old son that is.  1978 Ford Mustang. Red. Hot. And as I backed out of my drive way after battling with the ignition switch and getting the car to start, I remembered what it was like to live in artic Rochester, New York, where any car older than five years had to be coaxed and prodded into starting up in the morning.   Not that any of that matters now, now I live in sunny Mexico.  The funny thing is, I still wake up with grey clouds sometimes.

As I ambled down the street, I remembered, “you haven’t paid for the car yet.”  “Be careful…” I told myself as I rounded the corner, to find myself hood to hood with a 1980 Chevrolet pick up.  I held my breath as the driver edged by my scarlet pony.  “The breaks are low…” I reminded myself as I eased over the ever present, much despised, speed bumps that are so common in Mexican streets. “A 1978 Ford Mustang, this is so cool!” I reflected as I made it over the speed bump only to slow down again as the road ended and became nothing more than dirt for about twenty meters.  Another one of my current resident city’s charms; mid-road missing pieces of asphalt. I turned left onto the street that take me out of my neighborhood complex and my grip tightened on the mini steering wheel the previous owner installed.  “You don’t have a horn to beep with…” I reminded myself as four dogs, a bicyclist and a minivan crossed my exit path.  “Deathtrap…you’re driving a deathtrap….” The American, always have insurance, never forget to buckle your seat belt panic set in as I pushed down hard on the gas pedal. “Breaks are low, oil needs changing and there is no gas…you can do this, you are going to be just fine”-my mantra until I got to the gas station. A half a tank on $100 pesos, not bad for a eight cylinder.  I was impressed, still nervously excited though because my journey to work through eight AM traffic was still ahead of me.

The orange and white barricade bar that the parking lot at work went up as I approached.  I sighed and crawled my lovely new 1978 Mustang up the ramp into the parking lot. I parked it right next to my office window.  “This just might work” I thought.  Then I remembered, “no backseat seatbelts and in about five hours I have to pick up my son from school….”  The journey continues….
My red pony

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