Craigslist Diaries: Value of a Civic

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I needed a car. I had been riding my bike around for miles. When you’re 11 with a paper route it’s cute, when your 21 it equates to you never getting any ass. No one wants to fuck a guy who rings a passive aggressive bell at on coming pedestrians. Plus, I didn’t have pegs, so where was she gonna go. For a while, I would borrow my roommates car and get specific instructions about how I was not to have any fun within the car. Like what did he think, that we were going to jam the gear swifter into each others ass? No trust.

My first car I had purchased from my mom’s friend at the local bookstore. This time I decided to have Craigslist help, since I knew exactly what I wanted. I searched and searched until my eyes lit up on words “1995 Honda Civic”. This was it. No more bullshiting around. I kicked out a needy text to the number given and held my breath for the response. This car wasn’t just any civic. It was a FIFTH GEN. The last great generation before they started looking as if you could drop a kit in and blast off to Saturn. It was rumored that Soichiro Honda died while designing it. His magnum opus. The Sistine chapel of cars. 208,000 miles with a rebuilt motor, lowering springs, and new tires? I hopelessly held my penis back from creaming my work Dickies. An hour went by and the phone buzzed. “You actually got the money? Don’t waste our time if you don’t.” I was in!

I took off the next day and convinced my roommate to halt his daily weed sales so I could have backup. We were on our way to the far away town when I got a “Meet me in the Walmart parking lot” text. It was always a fucking Walmart. The amount shear shady deals that run in and out of Walmart’s parking lot was astonishing. Buy Weed? Walmart. Looking for a good time? Meet Candi, she works at Walmart? Want low prices on green beans? Walmart.  One day the Walton’s will figure out a way to get a piece of the action and all crime will be displaced to Big Lots.

We rolled up and saw the red beast itself. I jump out and a typical gear head with oil laced hands greeted me. He a patchy black beard and bad sunglasses despite it being night time. I was reluctant to shake fearing there was other fluids in the rough crevasses but I couldn’t let him intimidate me this early in the game. He popped the hood, pressing things that made the engine roar and showings me the dipstick. I pretend to know what he was talking about but appeared disinterested. Gotta remain aloof in order to get the better deal. I drove the damn thing around the parking lot only after killing the engine a few times. “This never happened with my old car,” I said. “Was it an automatic?”

I felt like I was floating. This thing had balls. Big giant brass ones filled with octane ready to take off at the speed of light. I wanted it. Perhaps too badly. He must of seen it in my eyes. “How much do you want for it?” “Well the ad said $2300 but-” “SOLD!” I yelled back. Only a hundred less than I had brought with. Still got it.

We went to his mom’s place where he took the license plate off and placed it on a different car that began smoking after start up. Thinking ahead, I brought my roommates car’s which although had a similar panty soaking color, it was a pussy Toyota. I gave him final triumphant handshake and we lined up the convoy. My roommate, Me, and the gear head took up the rear. Traffic got heavy. We waited for what felt like an entirety to turn left. Gear head became impatient, “Just fucking go!”  My roommate bolted out. I cut it close to an on coming car but followed behind. I heard the rev of the engine and the headlamps glared at me from my rear view. I underestimated how much Gear head was in a hurry. Brakes squealed from the cut off’ed car. Next thing you hear was WEEEEEOOOOOWEEEEEOOOOO! Red lights came on at the back of the convoy. Gear head flashed his brights at me to pull over too. But fuck that. My phone started to buzz a few times. Like hell I was picking that phone up. My roommate and I turned into the on ramp and sped off.

***

Years went by. The cooling system eventually had a meltdown where it was combated by blasting heat from the dash which left permanent pit stains in all of my shirts. The green musty kind that takes special detergent to get out but I was in college, so I just dealt with it. The breaks went out twice, once in a rough part of Detroit and once when I was turning into a McDonald’s parking lot. I cut the corner and blasted a a freshly trimmed hedge. It stopped my car but the on peering cop wasn’t as forgiving. Lights went out, hoses needed to be replaced, holes needed welding, despite all this the car kept coming back for more.

One day I dropped it off for an oil change and to have some clunking noise checked out. Several hours went by and no response. Worried I called down there. “Is the Honda Civic ready?” “That depends, is this Darby?” A strange question I thought. “Yes this is him” “Yea it’s been ready for a while but we had to move it due to an incident.” “Incident?” “Yea…. Look I’ll explain when you get down here.”

Frantically I woke up my friend from his hungover slumber and threw his keys at him. “Take me to Lenz’s, you wino, something is fucked up with my car!” My mind raced. Fuck it can’t be the engine, she’s only got 280,000 on her. Civics drive for eternity, blessed by Jesus himself. After the nuclear holocausts the only things left will be cockroaches, Twinkies, and Civics. We pulled in but I didn’t see her anywhere. Mother Fucker that’s not good. I frantically ran up to the counter and interrupted the old lady inquiring about winter tires. “What happened to my civic?!” I asked. “Oh…” The old lady grabbed a chair. “Everything is fine with it, ready to go. We just moved it away from the road because some guy tried to break into it. I guess he was the previous owner and wanted to know where you lived at. He says there some payment he needs. Went on about a sob story that he lost everything, due to some ticket he got. We told him to get lost but he wouldn’t quit. Had to call the cops.”

Everyone knows the value of a Civic.

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