The Red Convertible, Short Story
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We were walking down Portage anyway, seeing the sights, when we saw it. There it was, parked, large as alive. Really as if it was alive. I thought of the word "repose" because the car wasn't simply stopped, parked, or whatever. That car reposed, calm and gleaming,...
He sat in front of it, watching it, and that was the only time he was completely still. But it was the kind of stillness that you see in a rabbit when it freezes before it will bolt. He was not comfortable.
By the time I was done with the car it looked worse than any typical Indian car that has been driven all its life on reservation roads which they always say are like government promises-full of holes.... I made it look just as beat up as I could. Then I sat back, and waited for Stephan to find it.
The trip over there was beautiful. When everything starts changing, drying up, clearing off, you feel so good it is like your whole life is starting. And Stephan felt it too. He'd really put it back in shape, even the tape on the seats was very carefully put down and glued back into layers. It's not that he smiled again or even joked or anything while we were driving, but his face looked to me as if it were more clear, more peaceful. It looked as though he wasn't thinking of anything in particular except the blank fields and windbreaks and houses we were passing.
Okay, okay no problem. Ha! Ha!
He's dazzled. He looks at me and I look at him and then his eyes are full of tears and blood and he's crying I think at first.
Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Take good care of it!
"My boots are filling," he says. He says this in a normal voice, like he just noticed and he doesn't know what to think of it. Then he's gone. A branch comes by. Another branch. By the tie I get out of the river, off the snag I pulled myself onto, the sun is down. I walk back to the car, turn on the high beams, and drive it up the bank. I put it in first gear and then I take my foot off the clutch. I get out, close the door, and watch it plow softly into the water. The headlights reach in as they go down, searching, still lighted even after the water swirls over the back. I wait. The wires short out. It is all finally dark.
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