Wednesday, April 19, 2006
junk yard days
i have had 2 cars since november. it sounds pretty luxurious for a single working girl in the city to own two cars. don't be fooled.......luxury is no where to be found in this story.
when the black beauty died.......i didn't know what to do with it. amazingly enough, no one on craigslist.com wanted to buy a '92 geo storm leaking coolant from it's engine that would overheat in about 5 minutes flat. for months it sat on the street until i got this really cute pink note from a police officer saying if i was too busy too move it....they'd be more than glad to haul it to the impound for me. (note: never once have i claimed to not be a procrastinator, i know it's april).
last thursday i woke up super early and called AAA and had the car towed to a junkyard on the west side. they promised to give me $87 dollars for the car. $87 sounded alot better than a ticket. as the tow truck driver was taking the car off the tow.... a woman came out that worked at the junk yard. she chomped her white castle biscuit and seemed to fairly salivate over my car as she stared at it. "you bringin' that car in?" she asked. i replied yes and she asked me how much they were 'giving me fer it". i told her and her eyes got really big. she started pacing around and asking me questions. she seemed pretty excited and told me "don't go nowhere while i make a phone call". she came back in a few minutes awhile and she shook her head in sad disappointment. "couldn't do it" she shrugged. as i waited in line to sign over my title i could see her thinking. she asked me to step outside. "where you gonna be at 11:30?" she asked. i told her i'd be at work. "when's your lunch break?" she said. i told her i was off at one. she leaned in and said in a low voice "if you can be back here at 1.30, i can get you $150 for that car....maybe more". i agreed to come back at 1.30. it would be a pain, but after all it meant $50 more....almost double my money.
i drove back at 1.30 to a completely different scene than the one i saw that morning. the cold, quiet junkyard was now a veritable carnival. there were guys in wife beaters driving in out of the lot blasting loud music.......a hot dog stand was set up..... people with red necks and big smiles were everywhere. i wound up selling the car for $130 to the woman's step son. he was this short red haired, freckled kid and he handed the cash to me all fanned out so i could count it. it felt like what i imagine a drug deal would feel like. the woman came out to seal the deal in hushed tones, shooing us to the back of the parking lot so she "wouldn't get herself fired" and swearing that if i came back tomorrow she get me that other $20 she promised me.
the whole thing was surreal. for a little while it's like i stepped into this other world on the west side. where a geo storm with not much rust and a leaky engine is a gem. where people go on scavenger hunts in heaps of metal. where $130 for a car is good money and where you can pull parts off an old chrysler and buy a hot dog all in the same spot.