By John Sangster
I could walk down Hamlin street, name them all: 1939 Lincoln Zephyr, `41 Chevrolet Special Deluxe Coupe. A boy, ten years old, alone in his world of cars. I might trace my hand along a fender’s arc, take in my reflection on polished surfaces: the short-fat me on the radius of the door, the miniature short-fat me on the bumper’s curve; stand back and squint to catch the lines of a 1940 Mercury Town Sedan, perfect slope of the tear-drop back. Grilles that smiled or frowned. Hood ornaments, dramatic, a bare-breasted woman in flight, or simple, a chrome accent. My first high, the smell of gasoline. The feel of felt above my head and nap on the seats, its musty interior smell; cigarettes crushed in the tray, that smell too. A Buick’s whine in low, the rhythmic thrum of a Ford V-8, ticking of an engine cooling down.
I could walk down Hamlin street, maybe sit on a running board, palms down. Dig in, push back. Hear those springs?
Copyright John Sangster 2010