And We Danced

Let that day be declared lost on which we have not danced.

~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Need more storage space? A place upon which to pile the detritus of a life lived in limbo, sort of like the kitchen counter only bigger?

Try a car.

In no particular order of importance, here is a list of the crap I recently cleaned off of my 1987 Honda Prelude:

  • 3 mugs half filled with stale coffee and innumerable dead ants.
  • 2 pairs of flip flops.
  • 14 CDs, a head-banging selection ranging from the new Heaven & Hell to some classic Tool.
  • 1 Sony CD/Cassette Boombox with Digital AM/FM Tuner.
  • 2 library books.
  • 27 letters from various agencies who want my money.
  • 7 socks, mostly white.
  • 1 winter jacket, no longer necessary.
  • 1 roll of duct tape.
  • 52 cents in change.

All settled amidst the write-in-it-with-your-finger thick layer of dust that accumulates when a car sits in the garage for several months without its daily trips up and down Indianapolis Road.

To work.

It didn’t turn over, probably because of the little light in my glove box that never goes out, because the door doesn’t stay shut so well anymore, so I had to jump her; she roared to life with a racket punctuated by coughing exhaust and heater vents belching stale air. I backed it out slowly, the metallic grinding a reminder that I need to change the brakes soon, slipped in the brand spankin’ new Dream Theater, reset my Pioneer to deliver power to the subwoofer, cranked it up to 50 to drown out the not-too-subtle clamor old cars make, rolled down my windows . . . and drove.

Blessed normalcy! The familiar tug as it pulls toward the center line. The way my power window buttons rock opposite the way they do in the minivan. The country wind instead of the boxed up air conditioning.

My car and me? We danced.

I start back to work on the 6th of July . . .

[photo credit]


26 thoughts on “And We Danced

  1. w00t! work is good, man. Work is good

  2. Man will it be good to “hear” you coming back home 5 blocks before you get here!

  3. yahoooo! umm… for the return to work… not the coffee cups and ants (which live on the floor of my car… inside empty coke cans…)

  4. hellesbelles86 June 28, 2009 — 6:57 pm

    Congratulations on your return to the work force! I’m so happy to hear that you were able to find work.

  5. Congratulations on the new job!! Glad to hear you finally found something. Our car is full of ants too. Can’t get rid of the buggers.

    Oh, and the Flanagan’s here is a local seafood place! Not the same as the one y’all have. Hopefully yours has better servers!!

  6. Congrats on the new job! That’s great news. (If you hear of any openings, let me know.)
    The car thing? My family has already discovered what a great storage place it is. And guess who cleans it up???? The things I have found sometimes amaze me. I think I match you item for item, except the ants. Any money I find is mine. Call it a finders fee.
    Again, congratulations on your new job. And replace those brakes!

  7. A clarifying comment . . . I did not find a new job. I simply got called back from layoff. Still with the same company, though at this point it isn’t clear if I’ll be doing the same job as when I left. If I get downgraded, I’ll be making less moolah than before.

    I’ll keep you posted . . .

  8. Better dead ants than mold, I suppose. Much easier to clean. Congrats on the callback. I hope it’s like a beauty pageant or movie audition–you get called back for more moolah, not less.

  9. Congratulations! That sounds like good news — even potentially great news — to me. I have a friend who has been out of work since May ’08.

    I can’t imagine what it must be like to be out of work, especially as tough as it is right now. (I hope to never find out.)

  10. That is good news. Call backs are still good and lots of us are taking less for now, right? I hope that you are happy about the situation!

    As for the car… I hate it when my car gets that gutter chic look. I am famous for the coffee in the car myself.

    Ants? Ants scare me.

  11. Hey man I need some of that courage you’ve got. I am afraid to clean out my truck, the Snickers wrappers may get me.

  12. Cleaning car always turns up intriguing, if a bit grungy, elements.

    Congrats on your job!

  13. Your post title put me in mind of another song:

    I imagine this is quite different than the song you were referencing; this is quite evocative of my part of the world, and also of my hometown, on the other side of the continent.

    Once again, your post is evocative and exciting, and has caused me to spin all over the web.

  14. My thought process whilst reading this post:

    HOLY CRAP he has a car from 1987 that still runs?!?

    Tool? We have something else in common.

    Dude got a job!


  15. Right. On. Loved this post, for many reasons. I’ll keep a good thought that your position isn’t downgraded. Right. On.

  16. Now I can’t get The Hooters’ “And We Danced” outta my brain…

    Congrats on the new job! And to start back on the Monday following Independence Day? Providence.

  17. Congrats…being called back to work after a lay off means you are truly valued. Any work is good work these days!

    As for the stuff you found in your car, I recently snuck a Jack in the Box taco in on a drive home. (I know, gross…) Threw the bag with the remnants in my trunk and forgot about it until a month later when my husband was convinced I had stored a clients body that pissed me off in my trunk because it smelled so bad. Amazing how the tiny remnants of a forgotten taco can smell so bad. 🙂

  18. The contents of your car sound a LOT like mine. Although I’m usually pretty good about getting any open containers out shortly after I’ve consumed their contents, because I find ants offensive. (Like, I feel as if their very presence in my living space is the ant-y equivalent of the middle finger. They hate me, and I hate them back.) However, I will often toss a capped bottle of coke or water into the back seat, and when I finally clean my car out, I find dozens of them.

    Come to think of it, my winter coat is ALSO in my car. And no longer needed.

    Congrats on going back to work! I know you’re happy about it 😀

  19. Does a 1987 Honda Prelude really ‘roar to life’? Or sort of putter and cough its way out of a coma?

    1. Mine is also lacking a muffler, thanks to the tow company who came to fix a flat over the winter, so, yeah, it roars . . .

  20. Dude, Tool is one of my favorite bands.

    And yay for starting back to work! I bet all your old pals are going to be so happy to have you back.

  21. I just had a similar sort of moment. I felt like a grown up again… Congratulations!

  22. michael.offworld July 1, 2009 — 7:59 pm

    I love Honda’s. My wife and I have had 10 in the past 20 years, none of them were worn out, just moving on to newer and newer. I think we’re settled down now.

  23. Dude!

    I’m really glad you got called back. Not much is worse than being laid-off. At least if you’re fired you have closure or something, but if you’re laid-off it’s all just hanging out there over your head somehow while you count the days.

    Good for you! Hope it’s for more cash, but I guess the same cash would probably work, too.

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