Running through my neighborhood last weekend, I spied with my little eye a car coming toward me. Not just any car. It was a Buick Skylark. It wasn't that I was or have been such a fan of that particular make or model, but as it passed by, I noticed the logo on the front and the script font on the side. Suddenly, there was romance in the air and for the first time in a long time I was in love with a car. If this had been my son, the car fiend, it would have made sense. He swoons for motor vehicles of all manner of rolling stock in all shapes and sizes on a regular basis. Really regular. Me? Not regular at all. I haven't loved a car since I was younger than my son is now when I experienced that kind of coveting. I really wanted a Dodge van. I wanted to paint scenes from Star Wars on the side. I wanted to have a pair of those amber bubble windows at the back. Shag carpet on the inside. It would have been magnificent.
Or the Plymouth Arrow. Not because of the design or the mechanical specifications, but because it reminded me of the Harry Nilsson song. Which brings me back to that Skylark. I have no idea what sort of maintenance or history there is behind a Skylark. I could look it up, I suppose, but it was the name that got my metaphorical motor running. Back in my teens, I settled for a Vega. That would be the brightest star in the constellation Lyra. No cool song. No bubble windows. No shag carpet. It was the car I could afford. Afford rhymes with Accord. I owned one of those, too. I owned a car named for a peace treaty.
It wasn't an El Camino. Such a brilliant name for a really scary looking car. Or was it a truck? Or a Black Keys album? Telling people now that I owned an El Camino would be a badge of some strange honor. Or how about an Impala? I was in my late twenties before I understood that an impala was not some kind of ferocious jungle cat, but rather a sprightly hooved mini-deer that was constantly on the run from some kind of ferocious jungle cat.
And up above it all, soared the Skylark. Solid. Majestic. With a poem by Shelley, too. No wonder I'm in love.