Neon

From the “How Has She Not Yet Written About This?!” File:

We’ve remarked on it, casually, a couple of times over the last 7 years. Frankly, it’s little embarrassing for this literature and symbolism person who sees signs everywhere and in everything to have not paused a bit to consider that the first new (like new, new) car we bought was more than a little foreshadowy. Around Super Bowl time 1994, Chrysler introduced the Neon (model year 1995). You could get it as either a Dodge or a Plymouth, though they were the same car. Ours was a Plymouth, in a rich, deep, almost Rothko blue*. We bought the 4-door sedan in May of 1994 at a dealership (¿but which one?) in Missoula, MT, sweating the financial part. The car had a “no-dicker sticker”**, and we’d done the math, but, honestly, those 25 years ago, I didn’t think we’d be approved for the loan. As we left the office, we looked at each other and Karl mouthed, “Suckers!” We had to wait a few days for the car to be delivered and that day (¿or was it the next?) we had to drive to Spokane to fly somewhere (¿Sacramento?). I think I drove more than I usually did. We left the car in the parking garage and it felt a little like kenneling a new puppy the day after bringing her home from the shelter. When we got back, Karl got in the drivers’ seat and adjusted it for his height. “Oh, thank God!” he exclaimed, adding that he’d been silently regretting buying the car because the seat had not gone back all the way the first time, thinking we’d just spent (¿how much was it?) a hell of a lot of money for a car he couldn’t even drive comfortably or even safely in case of impact. Adjusting to the car payment was a little difficult, but since we’d just bought a brand new car, we decided to go all in and get a personalized license plate: ITSAGAS.

*Yeah, maybe they should have called the blue ones the Argon.
**Yes, I know now that there is no such thing as “no dicker”.

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