In February 1988 I purchased a brand new Pontiac Trans Am GTA. A fighter jet without wings. The engine fit under the hood the way an ice cube fits in a tray. More power than rationally necessary which allowed me to dominate the highway like a Bengal Tiger hunting fearlessly in the jungle. Zero to sixty in four seconds without even breaking a sweat. Several times, the power and performance suspension literally saved my life. I loved that car, but after thirty years and three hundred thousand miles, the monthly maintenance costs to keep it on the highway were killing me. I disposed of that car like a cowboy whose favorite horse has broken a leg, and he is forced to put it out of its misery. Very sad.
Living just above the poverty level, the only thing I could afford was a “golf cart with a windshield”. Very reliable, yes, but zero to sixty in about forty seconds… on a downhill. And an embarrassing fire engine red. I entered the highway like a chihuahua hiding under the furniture to avoid being stepped on. More significantly, I suffered a complete loss of my masculinity and self-respect. I was unhealthy, I felt older than my age, and I had very little will to live.
But fortune has smiled upon me, and two days ago I took possession of an eight-cylinder, fuel-thirsty rocket sled disguised as a white Dodge Challenger. This is the sexiest muscle car on the road today, and I have lusted over this model car for three years. During the first six hours of ownership I averaged five miles per gallon. A guy isn’t going to date a supermodel and then sleep on the sofa! Likewise, I’m not going to sit behind the wheel of this speed machine and not confirm its ability to accelerate. There were lots of stop lights before I could get it home. The first tank of gas disappeared in less than a day. However, my virility and self-esteem have been restored, and I feel much younger than my actual calendar age. For the first time in a long time, I’m happy to be me. And Ponce de Leon was looking for water. Silly boy.
Oh, yeah. Texas just survived an unprecedented winter where people went without heat and water for many days. My apartment was flooded by a broken water main, and I abandoned my home with three inches of water on the floor. But… who cares? I can sleep in my Challenger if I have to. This morning I take possession of a new apartment unit which is actually better than the one I had been living in. Life is much better than it has been, and the trend appears to be upward. Hey! Maybe I’ll start skydiving again! Yeaaaah, Baaaaby!