Let me recap from the other night. On New Years Eve I went looking for a truck down the airport motor mile on the Alcoa Highway. After recent months of investigating, I knew exactly the truck I needed. When I walked onto about the third lot I saw it exactly. It was love. I turned around and walked up to a guy smoking a cigarette by a golf cart. The art of negotiation had begun.
We took a drive and did some numbers. It was the last day of the year, after all. The miles were low and the price was a deal. Better than a deal. I put the car-seat in the back and drove it home to show Ashley. First I made a stop where I find spiritual comfort. There’s a certain footbridge overlooking a stream full of trash that dumps into the Tennessee and I choose to do my talking to the man upstairs when I can be near water, whenever possible.
I left with a pretty good peace about what I needed to do. Work, quite bluntly. And give my mom’s car back. Lately I’ve been painting and roofing, but I must clarify that until I borrowed a car I was toting my tools in a backpack and pedaling to the job site on a bike. This of course limits my clientele to friends who overlook such nonsense, and furthermore friends who own their own 36 ft ladders.
Back in May we sold our Corolla that we bought as soon as we were married in 2004. We sold it to try and live carless in a medium sized city like Knoxville. We also sold it knowing full well that Ashley was three months pregnant. It was something we’d always wanted to do and we knew we’d never try after having children. The deal was a six month evaluation, and to sum up many stories I’d love to share about it, the truth is that I can’t give up the lifestyle that having a car allows one to have. Now that I’ve paid a cab driver $25 dollars or spent 5 hours on a bus to make a routine 10 minute trip, I give up.
Anyways, back to the story at hand. We strapped Addair in the back of the truck and Ashley climbed up front. I prayed something like, “Oh God, don’t let me mess up.” How exactly did we get from being environmental nut jobs to buying a mid sized pickup truck?
One might ask.
Cars get people from place to place. However, people can get themselves from place to place. Or they can take a bus, bike, or share another car. Trucks do something. For something that requires having a truck, there is no way around having a truck.
Secondly, the no-car thing was to me as much philosophical as environmental. There is a greater appreciation to where you find yourself when you are on your own two feet. You are always where you’ve gotten yourself at any moment. And it’s simpler. There is less responsibility and then more time to walk, space to enjoy, clarity to think. Road rage and traffic tension doesn’t just go away, your body puts that somewhere.
Anyways, back to the story at hand. We were completing the financing application when the salesman asked for my current insurance information. I don’t have any, and like I mentioned, it ended up being a sad day for him. You can’t drive away uninsured. My good neighbor State Farm Agent was not available at 7:00 PM on a New Years Eve saturday night. I have his cell phone number and once he even gave me a box of tools when I first bought my house. Still, I didn’t call him. (Dennis Maynard, a good man. Although I’d go with Mike or Ryan Walker if I lived in Kentucky, they’re like a dad and a brother to me).
I was given some time to think this over. The dealership was closed for two days. On New Years morning I wrote and recorded a new song about the whole thing. It’s about a guy looking to buy a truck and he test drives one. He takes the dealer down a particular country road, sets the radio station and turns it up, does everything the truck will do and by the end of the chorus you wonder “Who’s sellin’ Who?” And that’s the title. It’s got some spots where I’d name a particular auto manufacturer *, if the money was right. i.e. Titan, Tundra, Silverado, Ford
In addition, there is more to the situation that I’ve not shared with many of you. The restless winds are back, and we’re ready to go again. This baby, we decided, would bring a season of preparation until we could meet him. Someone told us wisely that he could bring wings or he could bring roots. We’re sure that it’s wings. This 2003 3.4L 6cyl 4 door Toyota Tacoma would pull a small camper just fine (like a 19ft Airstream Bambi). It will haul the biggest canvases Ashley has painted and whatever tools it takes for me to do the jobs I can find while I write the songs that I’ll write. This truck will be home. Of course, more about all of this later.
Anyways, back to the story at hand. I told myself long ago that a good blog entry should never have more than one purpose and this one has touched on seven. I don’t know how to conclude other than to say I’m headed out today to insure a truck and then go see if I can get it. Wish me luck on the financing, my work history is a bit tricky to explain.