Part 9: The Dodge Colt (a.k.a. the Break-up Car)

Mitsubishi-Mirage-Full

Okay, so this is really a picture of a Mitsubishi Mirage — but, it looks exactly like my ’82 Dodge Colt. If you were a driver in the 80s, you may remember how all the hatchbacks, no matter what the brand, shared the same body type — but went by different names. Oh, those car companies — what tricksters!

In a similar vein — and since we were not parents, ourselves — we did what any childless couple would do. We anthropomorphized our new car into a pet:

Add wheels.

vroom...vroom...

The impetus to buy new (rather than tap Dad for another rolling tragedy) was spurred when the spike-heel of my right shoe punctured the corroded floor of our Datsun 510. Fearing the seats would be next — and, without warning, slam into the pavement at 60 mph — we paid a visit to a Chrysler dealership.

Maybe it wasn’t the best time to make a large purchase, chiefly because the fiber of our marriage had started to unravel. As a product of, shall we say, a volatile childhood, I believed our eleven years together without one single fight meant we were well-adjusted.

Silly me. 

I didn’t have any real evidence, per se, that things would soon end between us. For the most part, I relied on my intuition to guide me — which was my usual modus operandi. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Throughout most of my life, I’ve been certifiably psychic. 

One year earlier, at the nadir of our material poverty in Sag Harbor, we’d entered a contest sponsored by a travel magazine.

I’d had an exceptionally strong premonition — that we would win — and an inner voice had urged me to enter the contest each time I passed the newsstand and laid eyes on the magazine.

Finally, in “fifty words or fewer,” we collaborated on a poem and sent it in.

Six months later, the magazine phoned to say we’d won First Prize: an all-expense-paid trip to Katmandu, Nepal.

Of course, I was thrilled. But not surprised, because all along I had known we would win.

It would be our first and only ride together in a vehicle other than a crappy car or tour bus. Our first class tickets on Pan American Airlines had entitled us to champagne, caviar, blinis, and pampering by the flight attendants. 

Life can be full of surprises.

Speaking of…there was a circular staircase inside the plane that spiraled up to a bar located on the second level. And a grand piano was inside that bar. Can you believe that? Good thing I was tipsy on the bubbly — or I would have obsessed all the way to Heathrow about the weight of the Steinway vs. the aerodynamics of the flight.

Following our magical journey to Nepal, the marriage slowed down until it found a natural stopping point. We reached what I guess is called a mutual decision. Parting was amicable and with minimal regrets.

When all was said and done, what better way to have culminated an argument-free, possession-free marriage than with a free to trip to Shangra-La?

 

What I Was Reading: Meditation in Action (Trungpa), Cutting Through Spiritual Materialsim (Trungpa), The I Ching (Wilhlem translation), A Time for Astrology (Stern), A Kingdom by the Sea (Theroux), Fatal Vision (McDonald), Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions (Steinem), Jane Fonda’s Workout Book.

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