2+2 A Fast Car
Me and my classic 1983 Jaguar
Who knows in a world full of old dreams what can come back to the memory of love...young, sweet and tender love? Who would know? Fred MeGrath would. Old Fred McGrath, who sat on his porch and watched the cars go up and down his street. New cars that folded up on impact like crumpled envelopes. SUV's that never saw off-the-road terrain. Pick-ups trucks decked out like Cadillac's. Little cars and medium-sized cars but then every once in awhile, something old, sometimes rusty and sometimes restored, rolled past and his mind went to into a trip of yesterday. Yesterdays of Mary. Yesterdays of love.
Fred was not really that old, early sixties but these days, he felt like he was in his seventies. Everything ached, everything seemed duller than before but when he remembered Mary, he was once again young.
Mary and a 1965 Pontiac 2+2. The car had been the pride of his life. Big and sleek with pointed head lighted fenders and a grill of pure chrome. An even bigger front bumper of chrome and finned back end and what was considered then to a "muscle engine" of 421 horsepower that had been "souped up" to the max. It didn't look as flashy as the Corvettes, or Chargers or Thunderbirds but it was one "mean" piece of machinery. Fast, smooth and rare. Fred was madly in love until he saw Mary and found out really what love was all about.
Mary had worked in the concession stand of the local drive-in movie and Fred and his buddies had gathered there every weekend to ogle the girls after a wild night of drag racing down the old back roads to see whose car was the fastest. The 2+2 had stomped more than one of the other beefed-up cars and the Pontiac was Fred's pride and joy.
Yet, when he walked into the stand to buy some popcorn and a coke, he stared into the softest pair of blue eyes he had seen and he was instantly lost. She was slender, with shoulder length honey colored hair, and a smile to rival the brightest constellation. He had no intention of leaving that place until he had her phone number. Well, the road to disappointment is often paved with good intentions because Mary was not ready to give that number up that easy.
Night after night, he went to the drive-in, sometimes seeing the same movie three or more times, but really to see Mary. Finally, she relented and said yes to his request for a date and out came the much-desired phone number.
Fred was glad, too, as the late night life, even in the summer, was hard on his job as a mechanic at Sears. He had gotten what he wanted and he also got some sleep.
They dated for over a year. Mary was sweet, pretty but hard-headed and determined to make completely sure that when she married that it would be for the rest of her life. Fred had popped the question into the third month but Mary stalled and said wait. They waited and finally almost a year and a half after that first meeting, they married.
Thirty-three years of marriage later, four kids, Mary had left him in a haze of grief due to cancer. The 2+2 still sat in the garage behind Fred's house and was now quite a valuable classic. Pontiac had only made the cars for three years and in limited numbers so the car was worth a small fortune. Neither of his three sons had ever gotten hold of it but when he went, the car would go to his daughter, Mary Anne. In his daughter, his Mary of then walked in looks and sweetness.
He would always come back to reality after awhile and get up out of the chair. Some days, he would call Gertrude, his "girlfriend" if you could call her that, but mostly, they were very good friends as she was a widow as well. She had known as well what love was all about . It was a good relationship but there would never be another 2+2 again or another Mary.