Well: I sold the Doomsmobile, which was my 2007 P-71 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.
I used my entire 2013 tax return and bought the damn thing three and a half years ago from a dealership in Daly City. I drove it all over the place . . . mostly in and around the East Bay in the San Francisco Bay Area, and plenty of times back and forth between Oakland and Los Angeles. I drove it fast and I drove it recklessly. I laughed like hell in it and I cried in it and I even slept in the truck a few times when I had no place else to go. I never had sex in it, but one time this girl I knew put her hand on my thigh in the backseat.
The Doomsmobile was stolen four times. The second time it was stolen, it was returned to me with six huge suitcases that reeked of cigarettes and which contained about twenty pounds of women’s clothing and five pairs of knee-high leather boots. I also found a shitty old laptop and some Amazon gift cards and fifteen or so drivers licenses belonging to fifteen other people who were presumably robbed. Mysteriously, the roof had been spray-painted black. The fourth time the car was stolen, it was involved in a high-speed pursuit between Concord and Walnut Creek. When the cops checked the trunk, they found a hundred pounds of soaking wet carpeting. I’ve never been able to get a straight answer on what that was all about.
When I got it, it looked like this:
When I finally sold it yesterday, it looked like a haunted house that had been pulled from a swamp:
As my friend Tim put it, the Doomsmobile was the kind of car you’d expect Count Dracula to drive. It was a hideous ball of garbage and I loved it until it infected with me with its curse. Which is to say it became a black hole for what little money I had, on account of it being stolen and brought back from the dead so many times. When I left Oakland I gave it to Tim and I thought that was the end of it. But when I came back to Oakland Tim gave it back to me. It has been sitting in my driveway for four months. Hell, I thought I would never get rid of this fucking thing.
The guy who bought it was real nice. He was very excited to get it because he said he knew how to make it look nice again. Bless his heart. I told him, man, it looks like an absolute train wreck . . . like some Mad Max-esque piece of shit junker . . . but boy oh boy is it fast! If you slammed on the accelerator, the back tires would spin and then it would blast off at sixty miles-per-hour. You could take corners in the thing without even touching the brakes. It had cop suspension and all that. Lord, was it fun to drive. It’s just too bad it caused me a lot of trouble! Well, to quote Alice in Chains: “Yeah, it’s over now. And I can breathe somehow.”
The new owner and I drove down the street with dead tags and got it smogged. That’s a California thing: a car has to pass a smog test before you can register it. This guy, who was a real earnest stand-up guy, he told me: if the car passed a smog check, he’d buy it on the spot. It sure did pass right away, and he sure did hand me hundreds of dollars in cash right there in the parking lot. He drove me home and we shook hands and away he went, bless his little heart. He inherited my curse: the curse is now his. I watched the curse leave my life, and now I await another one to take its place.
I’ll tell you what I did with that money he gave me: hours later, heavily intoxicated and in a bad way all around, I walked a mile with that wad of cash in my pockets and found an ATM that accepted deposits and I put that money right the heck into my bank account. And then I wandered around for a while, and bought a Tecate tallboy at a gas station where everyone was speaking French to one another, and I walked another six or seven blocks until I found a stoop near a co-op where I had once gone to a strange party, and I drank that beer and felt pretty bad about myself. The few flickering brain cells I had left remembered the money that was now in my possession, and I told myself, I said: Boy, when you wake up tomorrow and are able to operate a computer, you go buy yourself a motorcycle helmet and some gloves.
I woke up this afternoon and said “I hate you” to my reflection and then I got online and did just that! I got me a real nice helmet and some real nice gloves. Altogether it cost me as much as I’d been given for my busted-ass Halloween costume of a car, now gone from me forever, thank our Heavenly Father.
I guess I’m gonna take that motorcycle training course in two or three weeks, maybe after I get back from New York. I’ve driven motorcycles before, but lord knows I want that certification so that the folks at the DMV can stamp it on my license, or whatever the hell they do. Yeah, I’d be all right with that.
Before I left Oakland in November 2015, I sold about half my stuff. When I got to Portland I sold a bunch more. Before I left Portland four months ago, I somehow managed to sell even more stuff. The last two months I’ve sold, for god’s sake, almost everything. I have completely shed myself of every hateful useless inanimate object I have been dragging around the country for the last decade. I have saved some money from doing this.
This money is, you see, Motorcycle Money. So now that I got the helmet and the gloves and on and on, I guess I gotta get the motorcycle itself. I’m just gonna get a Honda Rebel or a Nighthawk or a Shadow or something like that. I want a cheap small bike I can rip around on at night . . . nothin snooty! I guess I’ll probably use it to get to work too. Dang things get 60-70 mpg. Can you imagine?
IN CONCLUSION: Rest in peace, Doomsmobile. Farewell. Go to that landless latitude, you godawful scourge. For a minute there I was convinced that you had ruined me, but I later realized that I had ruined myself. I’m sorry that I blamed you. Here’s hoping that a fiery crack opens in the ground and takes you back to Hell, as world-famous French Canadian multimedia artist Laura Rokas once predicated. Or maybe you’ll be swallowed up by the Pacific Ocean, and will die finally in some icy hole way the hell down there. Whatever your fate may be, just uh . . . stay the hell away from me!!