Sunday morning found me sitting on a couch in an auto dealership. Some of us are concerned enough about our public appearance to drive to the auto dealership, or at least take a bus. I was sitting in the waiting area, dressed in grey sweats and tennis shoes, my hair a tangled mess. Why? Because I…? I ran there.
None of the magazines on the table held any interest as I kicked through them with my heel of my Boks. A football game of equal interest aired live on a big screen TV, which was thankfully muted. Colby Caillat was playing over the public address – Bubbly. It’s not one of my favorites, but I like it, and so I was singing along because the words are easy.
Whatever possessed me to shop for a sports car, I couldn’t say. It’s not like I have any money, and it’s not like Daddy’s going to finance one for me. But there I was in the waiting area, out of breath, with a notion in my head that I might not have to run back home.
Up on the TV, one of the players on the team wearing white broke away and ran for a long touchdown. I think the team might have been the Dolphins. The fans were obviously rooting for the other team, because the player skipped through the end zone holding the ball out to taunt the crowd before his teammates mobbed him for a celebration.
“Thank you for waiting, Ms. Schilde,” a big booming voice thundered beside me.
I cut my singing short quickly and looked up to see a giant now looming in front of me. No, I mean a giant. My salesman was a tall black man, closer to seven feet than six. He was powerfully built, shaved completely bald and had thick gold hoop earrings in both ears. He reminded me of a big pirate in a suit.
“Lowell Sanders,” he grinned, stretching out his hand toward me.
I stood up from the couch, like it made a difference, and barely wrapped my hand around two of his fingers. I had the oddest feeling like I could instantly trust him, like he was the kind of honest and good-hearted man who would protect me from any harm even though I was a perfect stranger.
Mr. Sanders hid his pirate head under the cowboy hat he’d removed as a courtesy. He had boots on to match it and the tackiest beige three-piece fashion faux pas I ever saw. I could understand if he was just a big man and that was the last suit on the rack that fit. But this man was so big any suit he wore would have to be custom tailored. He chose this look!
“If you’ll just come with me,” Mr. Sanders said, “I think I have just what you’re looking for.”
You would think that given the freedom to shop for whatever sports car I wanted, I would be would be at Lamborghini World or something, but I guess I need a refresher course in the basics of dreaming big. Mr. Sanders led me across the showroom floor and “just what I was looking for” turned out to be a new Toyota MR2 Hybrid.
He was right; I loved it! It was a silver one, its tires freshly detailed and shiny black. He opened the driver’s door for me and I got in, settling nicely into the plush bucket seat. He showed me how to scoot it forward and I put one hand on the wheel and the other on the stick shift to test it for comfort. It fit me perfectly. The surface of the console and instrument panel were fake burl, which I happen to think is just as pretty as the real thing. It reminded me that the last time I sat in a new car in a showroom, the dashboard and door panels had been accented with the same material. What an odd coincidence.
Mr. Sanders handed me the key and I plugged it into the ignition and turned it to the accessory position. I pulled a CD out of my sweatshirt pocket that I’d brought along. I can’t buy a car if I won’t be happy singing in it! I inserted the CD into the player and pushed for track three.
♫♪ Three little birds, sat on my window. And they told me I don’t need to worry. ♫♪
That song is one of my favorites but I wasn’t singing along in front of Mr. Sanders. For sure I’d be singing it for the rest of the day now though. The system sounded great! I bobbed my head quietly to the music.
“You like it don’t you?” Mr. Sanders asked.
I sped my nodding head up to double time.
“I’d have to knock out the front seats to get in,” he apologized. “I’ll have to find someone else if you want to take it for a test drive.”
“It’s okay,” I told him. “I don’t need to. I’ll be back to buy it.”
I jogged all the way from the dealership back to my apartment. When I got home, I was pouring sweat. I walked in and plopped down in a chair, exhausted and immediately perplexed. Brittney, my roommate, had moved the furniture all around and the bookshelf was in the middle of the floor now as a centerpiece.
“When did you decide to redecorate?” I asked, not really caring.
The only piece of furniture that belongs to me is my piano and she hadn’t move that. She didn’t answer me anyway. “I guess you didn’t get the car,” she said instead, regarding my perspiration.
I shook my head. “No, not yet. I didn’t want the floor model,” I answered.
My attention was fixed now on a box sitting against the wall where the bookshelf used to be. I wondered how a box that size hid behind the bookshelf all this time. I got up, walked over and began thumbing through its contents.
“Have you always had these?” I asked.
“Yeah, I’ve got a bunch of EPDs,” Brittney said. “I just never play them.”
I had no clue what an EPD was. The box was full of old vinyl records, but I had no idea why she would call them that. Nothing in the box looked interesting to me, but the fact that it was there at all was remarkable.
“Hmh!” I offered in matter-of-fact surprise, standing back up again.
I started into the kitchen now for a glass of water.
“Jimmy Wales is creeping me out, Brit,” I called back out to her. “He’s like God or something. Every time I turn around, it’s like he’s looking over my shoulder.”
I drank the water and came back, stopping in the doorway with my arms stretched up to either side and leaning forward against it. She gave me a blank stare.
“Who’s Jimmy Wales?” she asked.
I stopped and thought about that. Jimmy Wales is the founder of Wikipedia and I realized Brittney probably doesn’t spend much time there. I wondered for a moment if God had a web page if he’d show up on it once a year to ask for donations.
“Never mind,” I said.
I walked over to my piano. It’s a light-colored upright Daddy gave me when I first left home. I don’t love the sound, but it’s in tune and I’m used to it. Absent-mindedly, I started plunking out some chords.
“I made up my mind. I’m going to get that car,” I said. “I checked out their colors and I’m going to order it in metallic Sapphire.”
The chords caught up with me and I start humming. The song was simple, so I sat down and began to play it seriously. Brittney recognized the tune. She got up and came over to sit next to me on the edge of the piano bench and we both started singing…
♫♪ Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams, Just go ahead, let your hair down. ♫♪
© 2010 Anne Schilde
This dream was originally published on Facebook November 22, 2010, @ 19:59. I rewrote it to share it for Mindslam’s Write Wednesdays.
Corrinne Bailey Rae’s lyrics do NOT belong to me!
Jimmy Wales… you just creep me out!