07 August, 2006

Recovered Memory

...I wanna ta-ake you home/C'mon, jump in my car, it's too far to walk on your ow-own....

His name was Mark, and that's about all the personal information I recall about him. The fact that he was taking me to my prom despite having a girlfriend might've informed my Wiser Self that he was not a great guy. This was not important at the time. I was just looking for a prom date, not a soul mate.

At any rate, my Wiser Self wasn't listening. Over the rage of hormones in my sixteen-year-old inner ear, I could hear the rumbling purr of the eight cylinders in Mark's lovingly maintained 1973 AMC Javelin.

I met him in Photography class, and though I still have an eye for a good shot, what I remember about the class was Mark and me feeling each other up in the darkroom while we waited for chemicals to work on our exposed film. The smell of developer still puts me in a hot/cold sweat.

The Javelin, of course, was not the hottie it would be nowadays. Then, it was just an old car. It wasn't a Camero, which was the height of Teenage Dirtbag cool during both of the years I attended high school, and several that I didn't. Plus, it was an automatic, which even at that early moment I thought was weenie. Still, it was his. Most of my friends- those who could drive- were borrowing station wagons or boxy sedans from their parents. The boy I fooled around with during the summer (also some other girl's boyfriend) drove a VW Bug, the one with the distinctive putt-putt-sputter noise to its engine. That was a stickshift, but also not a hot car. If I'd had a boyfriend with a t-top TransAm, I would have thought that I'd died and gone to teenage heaven. Especially if Van Halen was rocking the cassette player.

Mark's Javelin had an intact paint job (after market) and clean, uncracked leatherette seats. Everything gleamed. He vacuumed it daily. It was blue. I think I have a picture of it somewhere. The car, not Mark. Or, well, maybe Mark's posing with the car. Yeah. I think so.

I haven't thought of Mark in years.

Naturally, I think of the Javelin much more frequently.

(Jump In My Car; David Hasselhoff)

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