Wednesday, January 20, 2010

R.I.P Del Sol 1998-2010

Kitty posted this video recently and it seemed very fitting for this post.

Del Sol was more than just a car, Del Sol was a member of our family. When I first met Sarah she owned Del Sol and she would carry us to adventures across the varied LA landscape, most notably at night, some dangerous, others benign, but all memorable. Del Sol was more than just Sarah's car, it was an extension of her personality. Using it to get her way in almost every situation, squeezing between other slow cars, stealing parking spots, almost running over children in parking lots, flipping off strangers she dismissed and zooming away in a little huff. Del Sol could haul ass. Del Sol also served as a perfect excuse to never have to drive "I can't, I only have two seats."
I contemplated writing all my favorite memories about Del Sol into this post, but some thing's like Del Sol, are best remembered privately. This car was more than just a car, it was bridge to my twenties and carried me all the way to NY where I knew, Del Sol still wrecked havoc wherever he went. So, in tribute to Del Sol, I decided to post a short story I wrote in 2002 about my own car, that in many ways, sums up the spirit of that time, and what will be missed, but never forgotten.

My Car

My car is my mother, my father, my best friend, my muse, and my target for unwarranted anger. Silver 1989 Mercury Topaz, my car has one spare tire that I have been driving on for close to a year, even though the AAA guy told me to change it the minute I got home.
I abuse my car, vomit splashed against the right backseat door from my nineteenth birthday has yet to be wiped off, even though I’m about to turn twenty. The inside has cigarette holes on every seat, even though I don’t smoke, my friends do. When we come gliding home, slicing a path down the 110 at night, the scent of tiny white Jasmine and gasoline leading us into the East Side, when their heads lull and sway to the music and all our windows are rolled down and we follow the north star like sailors at sea, and the water swells around us like the flood of some small love, and mix tapes croon ELO, Randy Newman and Aretha Franklin, sometimes their hands slip from the weight of busy fingers, clicking and snapping and fighting and biting, and their cigarettes drop and burn my seats. And, hey, that’s all right with me. My car is my garbage can, anyone that rides in my car for more than five minutes can write a book about me when they leave. I like iced tea, I steal magazines, I let my friends leave empty cigarette boxes strewn all over the floor, I don’t empty my ashtray, I drink and drive, I sometimes sleep in my car, I like Cheezits and cocaine, I sell clothes and buy clothes and horde clothes and trade clothes and fuck clothes by accident when they get tangled between my legs if I’m making love in my backseat to some boy that I found making love to my car.
And then in the ramble of my daily travels they can see that I drive, a lot. Every day, in fact, for hours on end, delivering rolls of film to Bauhaus on La Cienaga, picking up boxes of magazines from COP in Glendale. I like the 2 freeway, to the point, cuts through the heart of the beast in ten minutes flat. Too bad no one ever needs to get to Glendale in a hurry, no one’s ever in a hurry to get there.