Chuck makes clouds. Whenever he starts up, billows of white steam spill out his tailpipe and form a cloud that floats up above and lingers for a while in the tree out front before dispersing to where ever clouds disperse to.
I bought Chuck two years ago from a sculptor, a sort of famous local artist around here named Gary Gresl. At $340.00, buying Chuck was probably the best investment I’ve ever made.
I always felt it was bad luck to name your vehicle, but Gary had named the truck Chuck and I took to it. Gary also seemed distressed when I told him I would be using the truck to haul hula-hoops around town. He used Chuck for much more honorable duties such as transporting found objects and works of art to shows throughout the Midwest.
When I bought Chuck, he had burs stuck to his ceiling and he was filled with sand and tiny seashells. There was a fly swatter by the seat that I wondered about until I started being attacked by little green spiders that would come out of the air conditioning and heating vents. Spiders and freeways are not a good combination and I was thankful for the swatter being within arm’s reach. I sprayed the dashboard with tea tree oil and stuffed eucalyptus leaves between the windshield and the dash and it seemed to take care of the problem.
After taking Chuck to my mechanic for “the cloud making” problem, my mechanic, Stevie D., wanted to know how much I was willing to spend on repairs since the number of miles on Chuck are concerning. Stevie advised that it might be time for me to start looking for a new mode of transport.
It always saddens me when I have to get rid of a car, but for some reason this time it’s exceptionally depressing. Chuck has been good to me. As I look out the window at Chuck, he seems to morph into a big silver bear, who has been a friend and companion on many adventures, a friend that will be difficult say good-bye to.
I will laugh at myself when a lump comes into my throat when I see him drive off for the last time. I will remind myself that Chuck doesn’t have any feelings or care where he ends up. It’s all just so silly, but energetically, I feel like a piece of me will always be intertwined with that 2 tons of steel.
Stevie said Chuck could last 2 minutes or until the end of the year, who knows? No one knows.
Chuck just runs so smooth and strong that I am almost tempted to second guess Stevie’s expert opinion, but he is the expert and so I’m going to have to peddle him now, before my two minutes or the end of the year is up.
Anyone interested in a very reliable old truck? The gamble is yours if you take it, just like it was mine when I took it, and I have no regrets that I did.