Oh, And Are You Married?

The construction workers finishing the huge, opaque-windowed government building near me knock off about three, and some of them trudge down my block to get to satellite parking. I don’t expect knocks on the door on my day off and looked out nervously to see two guys in yellow hard hats standing in front of my house, looking toward the curb.

“Can I help you?” I called from the entry, palming a pepper spray from the hall stand. I may be capable of a hell of a roundhouse kick but I do not take chances with unknown characters.

“Madam, hello, I am seeing this car here at the curb and wanting to know if you are thinking of selling?”

He was surveying Melissa, twenty-two years of slightly chalky paint and a few rust-ulcers, one fender caved in from her encounter with a concrete stanchion back in ’07 after my late-and-ex died and I wasn’t tracking real well.

“Well,” I said, “there is a young man who’ll probably be taking her, but I don’t know yet if he is going to be able to get his license and insurance, I’ll know in a week.”

The taller and huskier of the two guys was Gabriel, and he wanted a serviceable clunker to replace a car that had been whammed downtown by a hit-and-run driver. Right now he was riding with his friend Daniel. As he gave me his phone and e-mail I explained that she was seeping oil everywhere, the power rack leaked, the transmission was a little temperamental in cold weather and the steering was loose. “And the hatch falls on your head,” I added. “She should have about two hundred bucks of transmission service says my mechanic.”

“I can fix the rust and the dent,” said Gabriel, in a melodious West African singsong, a little like what they call Bombay Welsh. “If you tell me by Wednesday I could bring cash on Friday. How much would you want?” I named a sum far above her blue book but far below the price of most bicycles, even. “I just want to let my young friend have a crack at getting his driver’s license first.”

Gabriel’s brow furrowed. “Why does he do crack?”

I explained the expression. “Ah. I worry because I see so many young people, they smoke and drink and do drugs. I do not smoke or drink.” It went with the politesse and the missionary Old Testament names. “Are you a trainer?”

Huh? “You train? Like work out?” I was wearing a spaghetti-strap gym tank imprinted with gym law #4 (“No Stretching In The Power Rack”), so it was a fair guess. I pled guilty to living in the gym. “”I can tell you are in very good shape. How old are you?” I told them; wide eyes all round. “Are you married?”

“Not quite, but almost,” I said, not that I expect to be any time soon, but this was going rather fast.

I gave him a very businesslike handshake as I saw him off, with a promise to call as soon as I had anything to tell him. About the car, that is.

All I can say is, my young friend needs to get his rear in gear. And maybe the Cute Engineer too.

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14 thoughts on “Oh, And Are You Married?

  1. I like the idea of Melissa getting a bit of a makeover as well as an obviously careful and caring owner (and you getting some cash!). Well, just five more sleeps until Wednesday…

  2. I’ve had Hondas in the past. They are tough cars and for someone who wants to put the money and time into making it go another few years, it is probably a good deal.

    Local driving is hard on any car, but I thought Hondas held up pretty well.

  3. Well, the stalwart youth I originally offered her to seems determined to cement the deal, but he has to come up with insurance. He knows the clock is ticking.

    As for gym clothes selling cars, I suspect it is more a matter of “ambitious young man from foreign parts spots older single woman who owns property and isn’t unbearably ugly plus has a car to sell, and flatters her accordingly.” I do admit I like the idea of someone taking care of all her booboos. We’ll see what happens. In what could be some sort of omen, high winds blew off the roof of the local Department of Motor Vehicles this afternoon.

  4. “Are you married?” is a high compliment, IMO. I’ve only offered that compliment once or twice, when I was hopelessly smitten at first sight. It always brings a smile, but also a rejection.

    I’ve been on the receiving end of that question, too, but only from lovely young ladies with exotic accents and temporary visas. They’re ISO a shortcut to a green card.

  5. Moab should certainly be the new owner of Melissa. Unless your young man’s name is Hezekiah, in which case, he wins in the Biblical moniker stakes.

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