The Middle of Nebraska 1969

by Regis Boff

My first car was a used Buick Electra convertible. I bought it to travel across the country.
It was the longest car manufactured in the United States at the time. I abandoned it, sandwiched between endless cornfields on a summer Nebraskan evening in 1969.
It continues to this day to be the only car, in the Midwest, acknowledged by a mailing address. Two families have lived in it since.
I was a college hippy and she an Isreali. She was a gulpingly lovely girl who never fully embraced my car. She felt the car misrepresented her worth.
She dumped me and my broken ride in the off-road gravel and hitchhiked back east. I stole some raw corn and went in the other direction.
From then on I sought vengeance on all of them. Not on the corn, on the women. It was great fun.
It did not occur to me until decades later that the only reason I worked at all was to buy expensive cars. Precision machines are potent symbols of compatibility to a woman.
The most stunning women, many of whom can otherwise barely sneeze without advice, know the price of any car on the road.
After I married, the dynamic of seduction had to be re-calibrated. We moved to a small town that new couples want for their children. They buy Volvo station wagons​, as did we. It is the most deceitful machine ever marketed. Breathtakingly fast, it draws in the unbelieving​ and continuously half-erect male. The woman, however, knows that crash test dummies play Scrabble in it, during collision tests.
My current car and I are growing old together. Both of us entering into a more predictable repair schedule. It takes me to doctors, and I take it to our mechanic on Main St.
I sense a certain smugness from this car as if it thinks it might outlast me.
Then that old hardness in me shows itself, and I suggest it might like Nebraska.

PUBLISHED: February 15, 2017
FILED UNDER: Unnoticed in Clever Worlds