Old Dogs

BANZAI


like many
in this country
I relish the cars
of days gone by
the road monsters
with big V-8s
tons of heavy metal
and a certain presence
that would intimidate
even the adventurous
from pulling out in front
to chance a collision
that left little
in the hope
of survival

my last ride
a '68 Riviera
was one of those beasts
and an absolute joy
to muscle around
the city streets
as well as
out on the highway
but it's gone now
along with my license
all of my money
and most
of my
desire

today
I drove
my girlfriend's car
a little Japanese job
that's an embarrassment
compared to my ideal
of an automobile
but these days
I can't be choosy
lucky to be driving
anything
at all

in
a merge lane
I got behind
some jackass
in another
tiny foreign model
who feigned
an aggressive dash
into the flow
of traffic
and I accelerated
in anticipation
of following along
only to crash
into his rear bumper
when he suddenly
changed his mind
and screeched suddenly
to a stop

I
was screwed
an accident
where I would be
the one at fault
with no license
or chance
of a happy
outcome

we got out
to survey the damage
and noticed miraculously
not even a scratch
on his car
and I slowly
turned to assess
in amazement
no evidence
of collision
to her front end

I couldn't
believe it
no autopsy
no foul

I apologized
and we continued
our separate ways
the high tech bumpers
and reduced vehicle weights
had saved my ass
my head reeled
at the thought
of similar mishap
with my former
ride

a wrecker
and perhaps
an ambulance
would have been
required

driving home
while not proud
I sat up straight
in the driver's seat
hung my arm
out the window
and breathed in
the fresh
morning air
with a smile