Dogs 2007

SERVICE ENGINE SOON
(5/1/07)


6pm
and finally
leaving work
just wanting
to get home
workout
and chill

one
speed bump
to navigate
in the parking lot
and I'm gone
but as I hit
the sucker
the
sucker
hits back

the front
of the truck
heaves up
disproportionately
for the size
of the obstacle
then
drops
far lower
than it has
ever
been before

I have become
The Low Rider
El Bato Loco
cruising the streets
an inch or so
above the pavement

besides that
everything
seems to work fine
so I point the vehicle
in the direction
of Firestone
in search
of some solution
regarding my newly
lowered status

I can feel
my ass dragging
the asphalt
people
staring down
as I drive by
and below
them

I am
too tired
to care

I feel
every bump
and pebble
avoiding the potholes
that would surely
crater
this crate

as I
pull up
I see
the techs
deadpanning
from the well lit
waiting area

they close
at 7
and a major problem
at this late hour
is not
a welcomed
sight

they say
it will be morning
before someone
can check it out
I remove the key
from the ring
and it's cuffed
to the service
order

I try
a car rental
company
remembering
their happy
horse shit
commercials
touting a fleet
delivery service
but I'm too late
and the only outlet
for a car
at his hour
is the airport

I call
a cab
and miraculously
for this town
one arrives
in five minutes
and I'm on my way
to Tulsa International
Sam the cabby
from Syria
tooling his car
like a pro
through the waning
rush hour
traffic

he tells me
of the day
last winter
when he made
$1600
being the only driver
that would venture out
in one of our
atypical
snowstorms

he has
many camels
surrounding
his tent

he
is from
the mountains
of Syria
and winter weather
was no problem
for him
as
our traffic laws
evidently
were no problem
and we make
great time

thankfully
we arrive
between flights
and there
are no crowds
to hinder my
rental car
shopping

it takes
five stops
to find
a suitable ride
at a suitable
price

Pontiac
Grand Prix
$35 a day
not including
the fuel

so
I roll
out of the airport
after two hours
of social
navigation
in a style
to which
I was not
accustomed

this White Wonder
is light years ahead
of the '98
Nissan pickup
that is
my norm

everything
automatic
electrified
rectified
purified
I am
High Tech Harry
let loose
upon the
boulevards

I
could get used
to this

after four days
I master
the displays
and controls
and the feel
of the machine
but the Frontier
is ready
a new torsion bar
in place of the one
rusted through
and broken

a friend
picks me up
at the airport
after I reluctantly
return
the dream machine
to it's keepers
and it is back
to the shop
to retrieve
my repaired
ride

it is good
to finally
get back
in my truck
and drive away

it
just
feels
right

plain
white
light weight
and dinged up
just like
me

it is worth
the $485
garage fee
and $150
for the rental
to be back
in my usual
pattern of
mobility

weeks later
I pull out
into traffic
and my truck
stalls
only one lighted
message
displayed
for my edification

at times
such as these
I really miss
the bus passes
of my
simple past