Before the age of 18, my mobility around Houston, a city that mandated you have a vehicle, rested on the goodwill of my best friends and my girlfriend at the time (to whom I am eternally grateful). The summer before I left for Austin to attend St. Edward’s University, my father gave me the sweetest thing
since that raptor-fest t-shirt I mentioned in an earlier post. He gave me a 1991 Honda Accord LX. It was more practical than the early-80s Camaro he wanted to get me, and it was old. So, if I screwed it up, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. He had been broken into before, stolen and involved in a high-speed chase. I knew I had a winner. He was going to be my little boy. He was my little white boy. El Güerito.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Why not name it after a woman like any self-respecting man would do? Don’t you have a penis?” Even at 18, I felt that naming my car after a woman would be degrading and sexist. Women only serve two purposes, broodmares for the state and having names so we can name our petty shit after them. I was one down 18 year old, let me tell ya.
The transmission computer was screwing up when I got him. I changed that fucker in the East Hall parking lot my first semester of college. Unfortunately for the past 5 years, my car has not failed to break down on me in some way.
Also, for the past five years, El Güerito has been with me through stormy trips back to Houston, lonely rides through South Austin and awful journeys to East Texas and a magical, scary place called San Antonio. El Güerito has served me well, and in its eighteenth year of existence, he has never been better. Sure, he might need a new power steering pump, but who doesn’t, right?
All I know is my barely legal baby is all grown up now. At 185,000+ miles, the lil’ guy is going to get his number pulled soon. I don’t know how I’m going to take it. I’ve had so many great memories in that car. Dually, I have had some pretty awful times in that car. No reason to waste my time on those.
Now that my car is old enough to buy cigarettes, I am afraid that it’s going to leave me soon. I think about it every time I get in it. I think about my muñeco all the time. I can fix things like busted radiator hoses, replacing transmission computers, batteries, tires and whatnot, but I’m afraid of that day when I can’t fix it at all and the mechanic says he’s done.
I am proud of El Güerito. My car can now:
- legally vote
- buy pornography (no more embarrassing trips to the XXXcite! on Lamar anymore)
- purchase tobacco products for minors
- register for selective service
- dropout of high school without parental approval
- and much much more
This has been a pointless blog post, but to end I say this:
* I am aware that the line comes from “Me and my Bitch” by Biggie Smalls, but I really like this song. It illustrates my feelings more clearly. :D