And now you're going to slap a bright green spoiler on it because you fucking know better.
You've heard (and likely rolled your eyes at) this line before: "It's the freedom of the open road."
Kerouac got high and liveblogged about it half a century ago, and guys who insist that the poster of Steve McQueen pinned above their headboard isn't the least bit gay still repeat it to this day. But there is some truth to the association of freedom and vehicles. Usually at this point the author would tell you a story about a '57 Chevy they fixed up with their dad, or an '82 Corvette they worked three jobs to save up for. I'm going to tell you about my first car: It was a 1986 Ford Taurus.
Source.Ladies, please: Why run away, when I can drive you away?
The back seat smelled like corpses from the day I got it, and in under a year, I'd managed to fuse the thing to a stone fencepost in the backcountry of central Oregon when the power steering pump rage-quit on me mid-corner. And to this day, I still love that smelly, murderous, ugly, ugly bastard. Because your first car is never just a car: It's an entire city, a state, a country! As a teenager, your pre-automobile field of influence is a small circle about five miles around your home. Maybe you had a bus pass, or a bicycle, but there are limits to both of those things: The buses only ride certain routes at certain times, and, with some rare exceptions, you're probably not bombing down the only highway out of town on your Huffy. With a car, your field of influence is only limited by your gas tank. And I grew up at a time when gas was relatively cheap.
Source.It was the golden yesteryear of 1998, when men were men and women were women ... as they still are today.
If I could scrape up a dollar or two, I instantly added hundreds of potential square miles to my life. My car meant parties across town, late movies and impromptu road trips. But it went further than that. Your first car is always your first house, too. It's a roof, a lockable door and a tiny, uncomfortable bed that smells like corpses, sure, but it's yours. It's a place to crash in when you're too hammered to drive, a place to bring girls (if you hang with the kind of girls who are down to mack atop a mortuary floor, of course) and even the occasional bathroom, when you lose a tag team match to Jim Beam and Pauli Percocet.
I think some measure of what turns people into gearheads is a sense of gratitude that we just can't shake after that first terrible, broken, shitty, smoking, rusted-out Festiva opened up our worlds like a goddamn Disney movie.
Source.DON'T YOU DARE CLOSE YOUR EYES.
Get the first episode of Robert's Sci-Fi Serial Novel, Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity, right here, or buy Robert's other book, Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead. Follow him on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.
For more from Brockway, check out 5 Bizarre Pitfalls of Owning a Classic Car and 7 Real Car Chases Way Crazier Than Anything in the Movies.