Sunday, October 14, 2012

Orange Pinto

Day 284
I see her with a lost expression I sometimes wear myself.  

“Do you need help?” I ask the silver-haired woman rocking her shopping cart back and forth. 

“I can’t find my car,” she says.  “It was just here.”

“It’s got to be close.  What’s it look like?”  I ask.  She tells me it’s a gray Toyota and the first two letters of the license plate. 

“I lose my car all the time,” I confess, my eyes scanning the lot for any car that fits her description.  “I always find it.”  

Growing up, my mom drove a bright orange Pinto. I didn’t know anyone on our block, OK, anyone at all, that drove a car the color of that Pinto.  It's a beauty, no?

My dad, the consummate salesman, brought it for a song off the lot.  I’m guessing there weren’t customers lining up for this particular shade of pumpkin.  Even in the psychedelic 70’s, a bright orange car made a statement. 

What it said was, “Hey!! I’m over here!!” 

The upside to driving an orange car is we never lost it in a crowd.  Even once.  We could exit the mall from a different door and like a beckon the orange glow led us home.

“I see it!” I say, pointing towards the woman’s car.  It’s hidden behind a large, navy SUV.  I walk the woman to her car and share the story of the orange Pinto. 

“I should have brought an orange car,” she laughs.  “Or maybe just a ribbon to tie on the antenna.”  I vote for the ribbon.      

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