Every weekday morning my street fills up with cars. Most of the drivers who park here work inside a large, beige Art Deco building a couple of blocks away. I’m not sure of the nature of the work there; something combining consulting-advertising-financial advising. I’ve not bothered to find out anything more.
I usually start my day with a cup of coffee and something to read in front of the big second-story window that gives me a wide-angle view of the street. Several regulars park right in front, a pristine white 1964-1/2 Mustang (yes, there is such a thing); green Subaru wagon; bronze-metallic Jeep; a very battered bright-blue Toyota with its entire nose ripped off, leaving the headlights poking out like frightened bug-eyes. I don’t often see the people themselves; they swoop in, park, and hurry off.
This morning, though, the baritone growl of the Mustang pulled me away from my reading. Good, I thought, I’ll finally get to see who drives that car. I love those V-8 ‘Stangs because they were everything, good and bad, that cars can’t be anymore. Big engine in an absurdly small package; the cockpit bristling with dangerously pointy stuff, like that Boy-am-I-hot-shit floor shifter. Motown blasting on AM radio in one of these cars is pretty much what heaven will be like.
I watched while the driver climbed out, and even before I saw her face, I knew she was young, in her 20s. She slid out of the low-slung bucket seat and stood in one smooth motion. She didn’t heft herself up with a hand or hold onto the door. In fact, both hands were full: silver thermal coffee mug in one, canvas tote bag in the other. Her long brown hair was still wet.
As I watch, she locks the Mustang’s door—the old-fashioned way, by pushing the button down and slamming the door–hefts the tote bag higher on her shoulder, and heads down the street.
I take in the details of her outfit. She’s wearing an above-the-knee green-print skirt, sheer stockings, black shoes with a high, but not perilous heel. Her tan trench coat (brand-new, looks like) is shorter than the skirt by a few inches, a fashion trend that decisively separates her generation from mine. She looks nice.
It reminds me of how long it’s been since I worked in an office; a place where things like new coat lengths were filed in my brain without my even realizing it.
I wonder how many of her co-workers know she drives that cool car.