Unlucky Part 13: The Bonneville

“Just when I thought I was out — they pull me back in.”

I was beginning to feel like Michael Corleone in Godfather III. Just when I thought  I was done driving rat trap oil burners — I was in the market for another one. This time, I would score a 1970 Pontiac Bonneville (a.k.a. “the boat”).

The Backstory

First, the short list of  why we (okay, me) make colossal relationship mistakes:

  1. Being single and living alone for seven years.
  2. One too many date-less New Year’s Eves.
  3. The deluge of pity from friends and family who want to fix you up.
  4. Dating a man who doesn’t have a Green Card.
  5. Celebrating holidays with your dog.
  6. The Personal Ads.
  7. Rose-Colored Glasses.
  8. Black Moods.
  9. Love.
  10. Sex  (“If there were no process of aging, if time and its passing were not built into the very code of life, reproduction would be unnecessary and sexuality would not exist. That sexuality is a species leap over death has always been clear; it is one of the truths which precede philosophy…The force of sexuality is forever unfinished, it’s never completed. Or, rather, it finishes only to re-begin, as if for the first time.” – so writes the brilliant John Berger in And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos).

What Happened: The Reader’s Digest Version

Getting into an explosively transformative relationship (ETR) — in which you rapidly fold under the weight of his intentions and marry him (and, not only that, register your car under his name after he convinces you it’s a money-saver) — is a much simpler process (Justice of the Peace; I do, I do) than getting out of that ETR (Order of Protection, NYPD, Lawyers, Loss of Property and Dignity).

And, if you are what you drive (as I’ve proposed in an earlier post), then the pair of 1970 Bonnevilles pictured below aptly reflects my dismal emotional descent of 1992:

1970-pontiac-bonneville-sm

54008-SM

My temporarily estranged Subaru Justy — the only tangible vestige of my life as I once knew it — could not be legally mine again until my soon-to-be ex signed over the registration to me — which he would do if, and only if, I promised not to dun him for the semester’s tuition at Pratt that he’d charged to my Visa card.

I know, I know. Idiot. Learning experience. Bad Karma. Should have known better.

That said, I was in immediate need of a temporary set of wheels to get me to my teaching job at a local university.

art_reproduction_studioMy Haven

Enter: Signore Automotive. For fifty dollars, my father hooked me up with a 1970 puke brown Bonneville, which had been sitting idle for years in the yard of a former co-worker.

It was huge, ugly, rusted, falling apart, and smelling of mildew. But the Bonneville got me to and from work — even if it did look like an overcooked pop-tart:

burnt-poptart-sm

I really missed my Justy and couldn’t wait until we were:

What I Was Reading (My Refuge): Possession (Byatt), You Just Don’t Understand (Tannen), And the Sea Will Tell (Bugliosi), Jazz (Morrison), The Firm (Grisham), Damage (Hart), Object Lessons (Quinlen), Fire in the Belly (Keen), The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Kundera), Backlash (Faludi), Presumed Innocent (Turow), Waiting to Exhale (McMillan), The Happy Isles of Oceania (Theroux), The Woman Warrior (Kingston), The Secret History (Tartt), Care of the Soul (Moore), Bridges of Madison County (Okay, I was curious — and actually liked it) (Waller).

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