This is a story about the guy who works at the auto salvage yard whose job is to catalog useful parts on the worthless shit cars in the mud.
It’s a story of how he’s able to choose one of the new arrivals, to spot a good one and start it with a screwdriver. He always knows from a distance which ones will run though, and this one, the ashtray’s still full of cold cigarettes and the dashboard is covered in a film of dust. Maybe the windshield’s gone, maybe the foam in the seats is eaten up by mice, but it’s still got a little bit of gas, and even the heat works.
“You’d be surprised how far a car will go with three wheels!” he imagines himself saying to those he imagines are interested in what he does.
The radio is missing the knobs but he can still tune it. The car saves him from walking through the rain and the mud as he drives it around with his clipboard with a picture of his daughter taped to the top and his can of spray-paint for marking the cars with hints like “cracked block, “broken driveshaft,” or ”good trans” and a big letter X for the ones with nothing left to give.
This is a story about how everyday he reminds himself, that maybe he could, he hopes, he might find one of these cars in better shape one day and fix it up for his daughter who could drive it instead of riding the bus to her job at the liquor store where she’s saving up for community college.
This is a story about hope, hope of something left to give, in a guy who works at the auto salvage yard whose job is to catalog useful parts on the worthless shit cars in the mud.