NaBloPoMo Day 9 —

When I was 10 or 11 we had this truck that was a total PoS (piece of shit). Now, I’ve owned a lot of PoS vehicles and so I’m not quick to label anything as a PoS. But, this truck was like king of the PoS vehicles. If I recall, it was Ford F150, maybe a 77? Something like that. (I’m sure my mom will correct me on the correct year and model when she reads this.) Anyhow it was big, loud, and ugly. And the color? Well, mostly red, but it was like 5 or 6 different colors, including rust. It had two pretty comfortable bucket seats which would have been nice except there were three of us, so someone had to sit indian style on the floor between the two. I usually took that seat because I found that if you layered enough blankets you could could make a little reading nest. Coupled with the loud vibration of the truck to drown out the voices of anyone talking, it gave me an excuse to shut out the world and escape into my book. And at night you could stare through the moonroof at the stars.

Unfortunately, that moonroof wasn’t airtight so when it rained, it leaked and the person (again, usually me) sitting in the middle had to hold a trash bag over their head to prevent from getting wet.

It looked similar to this, minus the quality interior and that convenient little console:

IMG_1479-0

Anyhow, I tried hard to be big about it. I mean we didn’t have money. That’s just how it was. I didn’t have name brand clothing. I didn’t ever have the latest footwear fads like those high-top black Reeboks or K-Swiss tennis shoes I wanted so badly. And my toys were all off brand or bought from the thrift store. It rarely bothered me. But, this truck? It was just humiliating.

Earlier that year this boy, Ben, joined our class about a month into the school year. I thought he was cute, but I never told him because I was shy and dorky before shy and dorky was cool. He was one of seven kids and so his mom drove this huge van. Now, conversion vans were the shit in my school at that time. Complete with soft, cushy seats, plush carpeting and even curtains; it was like a family room on wheels. Everyone wanted their mom to get a conversion van. Ben’s mom, however, drove an old, brown van with tan interior which was quickly labeled, “Reese’s” –as in the the peanut butter cup–by the boys in our class. It was pretty clever, honestly. But, Ben was also shy and dorky, and so clearly mortified by the kids announcing the arrival of his mom in the carpool lane by yelling, “Reece’s!”over and over again in unison. Eventually his nickname became “Reece’s” and then the whole school was calling him that. I knew from experience how quickly these names could spiral out of control as I had a similar incident the year prior when a boy named Jackie decided my (maiden) last name sounded like “beast” and I was called “Laura Beast” for the rest of the year.

I wasn’t about to let that happen to me again so, I made my mom drop us off out of view of the other kids. On nicer days she dropped us off on a sidewalk nearby the school and we walked the rest of the way. On colder days she pulled into the staff parking lot and we basically sneaked out of the truck and beelined our way to the front entrance like a covert operation.

Today I was cleaning out my van because the inside, I’m sad to say, looked far too similar to what’s left in the bottom of the cereal box after you eat all the actual cereal combined with what the inside of a preschool probably looks like at the end of the day. Since I didn’t have any kids with me I was actually able to real–clean. Not just like “how much can I fit into the plastic bag from 7-11 while my gas pumps?–clean”. I even splurged and got a car wash so I can stop acting like my van just happens to be the color of dirt. Then, in true redneck fashion, I used Armour All to clean the dash and I was like holy hell this is clean! I should move into this van! And then I remember the van is just shy of being a PoS. And by “just shy of”, I mean it’s only because I CANNOT afford anything better that I refuse to let myself think of it as a PoS. And that made me think of the Reese’s van, and now here we are: my NaBloPoMo post for Day 9.

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