Johnny America


The Sedan


She was a gor­geous twen­ty-some­thing who drove one of those bland sedans that seemed to be used ex­clu­sive­ly as a rental car or gov­ern­ment fleet ve­hi­cle. It was in­con­ceiv­able that some­one un­der the age of sev­en­ty-five would pur­chase such a car of their own vo­li­tion. And the sedan wasn’t cool in an iron­ic or retro way. It was just a piece of crap. Yet she drove it, and I couldn’t stop think­ing about her.

She had a keen sense of style that was ev­i­dent even as she drove past. She wore scarves and gloves and hats and oth­er ac­ces­sories that weren’t func­tion­al­ly nec­es­sary in a mild cli­mate, yet con­veyed a cer­tain hip-ness. Gor­geous women were every­where. Gener­ic sedans were every­where. It was the com­bi­na­tion that had me hooked. She was what I’d been wait­ing for all these years.

She drove down my street at the same time every day. One day, I got in my car and fol­lowed her. I tailed from a dis­tance like I’d seen cops do on tele­vi­sion. She ma­neu­vered through the neigh­bor­hood and on­to a coun­try road. The land­scape be­came in­creas­ing­ly re­mote. There were no oth­er cars around, and it be­came more dif­fi­cult to re­main stealth.

Abrupt­ly, she pulled off the road, stepped from her car, and flagged me down. Bust­ed. I cruised to a stop be­hind her. She walked over and I rolled down the window.

“Why are you fol­low­ing me?” she said.

I shrugged. “I’m just fas­ci­nat­ed that such a beau­ti­ful and styl­ish woman would dri­ve such a lemon.”

“It was my grandfather’s car. And I dri­ve it be­cause it re­minds me of him.”

“Oh,” I said. “That’s a re­lief. I was wor­ried that you’d ac­tu­al­ly bought that car voluntarily.”

“You’re sort of nosy,” she said, “about this car. Why do you care?”

“Be­cause I’m at­tract­ed to you phys­i­cal­ly. When I see a beau­ti­ful woman I can’t help but fan­ta­size about her. You know, in a ro­man­tic way. But you’re at a whole dif­fer­ent lev­el. You’re the A‑list celebri­ty in my fan­ta­sy file.”

“You’re pret­ty blunt,” she said. “Do you al­ways talk to peo­ple like this?”

“I don’t talk to peo­ple much at all. I’m sort of a recluse, es­pe­cial­ly with women, but I’m try­ing to change that. You might say I’m out of my com­fort zone here.”

“Well,” she said, “you’re go­ing about things the wrong way. Fol­low­ing me is creepy. Try to meet me the nor­mal way, by get­ting drunk and grop­ing me in a bar.”

“Oh, okay. That’s good to know. Thanks for the heads up.”

“I hang out at Frank’s Booze Bin on week­ends. Maybe I’ll see you there.”

“Yes,” I said. “Def­i­nite­ly.”

She got in her sedan and drove off.

I went to Frank’s that week­end, but she wasn’t there. And she stopped dri­ving down my street. I think she took an al­ter­nate route to avoid me. She must have been more creeped out by my ill-ad­vised fol­low­ing than she’d let on. If on­ly I’d known to get drunk and grop­ing at Frank’s. For weeks I cursed my faux pas. I seemed not to have the mag­ic touch with women.

So I re­turned to my rou­tine of watch­ing tele­vi­sion and star­ing out the win­dow. The house felt emp­ty now, my tele­vi­sion shows point­less. I’ll nev­er for­get her, or that sedan. It was a one in a mil­lion com­bi­na­tion. But I’ll keep wait­ing and hop­ing that I’ll see her again.

Maybe again, someday.

Filed under Fiction on December 17th, 2010

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Paul wrote:

Sweet sto­ry. Suc­cinct yet com­plete. I know this character!

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