My old reliable truck, 276,000 miles, plucked from its parking spot of eight years—not for its monetary value, but for its dual catalytic converters and some short term scrap metal hauling. Gone forever I’m thinking. A week later I get a call at 3AM. Albuquerque police found my truck in the middle of a residential street, doors wide open. “Can I go get it?” I ask. The cop on the phone tells me the truck’s not driveable, they’re having it towed.
Next day Dona drives me out to a salvage yard on south Broadway to check it out. The tires are shredded, rims chewed up and cracked. Both exhaust pipes cut open where the converters would be. I try the mangled ignition and the truck starts right up, louder than an old Harley. We sort through what’s left in the cab. The thieves forgot a few things: a rechargeable dremel for cutting tail pipes, a used meth pipe, a DC phone charger, some spent shell casings and an intact 9mm cartridge which I keep for a souvenir.
The truck had been good to me, but I had been coming to the truth that I no longer needed it. In my transition from construction retirement to literature I had already decided to just drive it until it quit, and then move on. So here it is, no longer worth the cost of keeping. I sign the title over to settle up with the wrecking company, and I’m moving on.
So I’m walking now, another week gone by. The sound of a revving engine makes me look up. There’s a red KIA skittering past me in the middle of the street, all four tires blown, sparks flying off the bare rims. Driver and two passengers. I turn to watch them disappear around the next corner, a smile forming on my face. So they too had moved on. It’s what we do.