I’ve stolen two cars in my life. One was a pink Rambler.
So much for street creds.
The Rambler belonged to a co-worker. A former co-worker.
We worked together at a sheet-metal stamping plant on the West Side of Cleveland. One Friday, after we cashed our paychecks, he invited me to come along on a road trip to Tennessee. He often drove there on weekends to visit family.
His only relative in Cleveland was his father, a seedy old bisexual. I knew that because he hit on me in the men’s room at the plant. I doubted that his son knew.
By the time we reached dead man’s curve on I-71 — the one out by the airport — the check oil light came on. We pulled over and raised the hood. The engine was so hot it glowed.
“It uses a lot of oil,” he said.
We got off at the next exit and bought four one-gallon cans of bulk oil.
It took forever to get to Tennessee, stopping every fifty miles to refill the crankcase.
We had an OK time with the relatives. They treated me like family and fed us well. And we drank prodigious amounts of whiskey.
Come Sunday night, he announced that he wasn’t going back to Cleveland.
“Fuck that,” I said, and grabbed the car keys.
As far as I know, he never returned to Cleveland. I kept the car and ran it into the ground, which took all of a month.
The other car? Another story for another time.
This is another installment in my Autobiography series. In case you hadn’t guessed.