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.