Tragically Unhip

“You can tell a lot about a person from their car” Stick told me.


“Yeah, your car is a reflection of your personality.”

“No way, I notice clothes way more. A car’s just a way to get from point A to point B,”

“Clothes just keep you warm. And to keep boys from staring at you!” He reminds me. To give this a little perspective, we are in the parking lot outside his dorm. He’s the one in jeans, a t-shirt for some band, and sneakers, unlocking his Cougar. It’s the color of Liquitex French Ultramarine when he parks in the sun, and Winsor Purple in the shade. I’m wearing an ankle-length batik skirt, beaded sandals, enough jewelry to chime when I walk, and my beloved Volvo (Squeaky) is the color of a twenty-year-old station wagaon.

“Yeah, whatever. Love you! Bye!” is my characteristicallly mature response.

A few days later, I’m on my way back from a girls’ night clothing swap, on my way to see Stick when I realize I need petrol. In Massachussetts you have to pump your own gas, and I am constantly running out of gas in short skirts or heels. Sometimes I forget there’s a gas gage for a couple days and I’d probably end up standed on the side of the road somewhere, but then Grant bitches about gas prices and I remember again. Sometimes I forget I have a car, too, but usually only for a few hours. By the time I’m actually at the bus stop to go home, I remember. Quit laughing.

Anyway, the fellow at the next pump starts talking to me, and I’d like to think that he’s interested in my amazing good looks, but he’s letting me know where I can get a great paint-on rust inhibitor for the Volvo. I get to Stick’s and the girl on security lets me in. Visitors are supposed to be signed into the building, but recently I’ve been going over there so much that we just chat about her son or my classes for a few moments and then I go on.

“I recognized you”, she says. “Go on up.”

“It’s the car, isn’t it?” I ask. “You looked out and saw my ugly shoebox car!”

“Oh, no, hon, I heard the car long before I saw you. By the way, I love your dress,”

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