Hope none’a y’all mind, but I’ma take it from here. First off, I wouldn’t trust a compact car with a screw driver, let alone to tell a story right.
Hey there, name’s Double Bogey. Lotta folks got to callin’ me “The Blend Bus”, but my formal is “Double Bogey” or “DB”. Was a name given to me by Toussaint and Spencer. We had a rough outing from Sioux Falls back to the Cities, and after all the mechanical work I’d needed, the fellers went with a self-depricating-but-regal title for me. Double Bogey, fits just right.
Aside from sittin’ here in the great hereafter, I served diligently as transportation for the St. Cloud public school system, and then onto my later, and final, years as the bus for the band The Blend.
Yes, I said “hereafter”. My days as a functional vehicle are long done and over. I’ve been passed along to the scrap heap, and- in so many words- am dead. I don’t like to use the word “dead” much, but seems to be a term thrown around us mechanical folk all our lives. “My car died”, “Tried turnin’ the key, but it’s dead”, etc. Either way, I’m gon’ tell it like it is for the next chapter of this here story ‘bout Toussaint, his old lady Dana, and that heap ‘a trouble Honda.
I saw it all. I was around the corner from Dana’s apartment as Toussaint pulled up in Honda to rest it at it’s potential final public parking destination. The hood was tore to shit, got damn bumper almost hangin’ off the damn thing, and a cracked windshield… probably already there, but hell- gotta give’er the full picture here.
A broken man of sorts, less than half the man- if anything at all, Toussaint stepped outta the wreck. Feller could barely pull himself to Dana’s apartment. Think the guy had thoughts of takin’ that car off’a cliff. It ain’t a thang to fix, and definitely wasn’t a life-endin’ situation. From the looks of it, what seemed to be the trouble was a combination of two things: 1. How do you explain a hood dislodgin’ from a car while doin’ 55mph on the highway? Ya can’t. The audience and/or person hearing you out would have to have the rocks and patience to respond, “… welp. Let’s get a hammer and fix’er.” I’m pretty sure Toussaint knew Dana’s parents weren’t the easy-goin’ type when it came to stuff like this. Hell, I’d met Dana, and sure as hell knew right off the bat not even so much as a sneeze could get by her. The woman had cat-like senses, bitched like the dickens, and never forgot. And then 2… welp, I forgot where I was gon’ with that, but however Toussaint stayed up in that apartment for what seemed like a few hours. The man walked out like he’d been to hell and back, but never left it in his head. He and I drove elsewhere for the da y… just to return back to Dana’s apartment to meet up with her mother and sister to go over Honda’s damage.
I’ve seen some shit in my day. Winter breakdowns in the midst of nowhere, a trailer almost detach itself from my rear-end on the high way of the bible belt, multiple arrests outside’a clubs betwixt the armpit of rural America and the wrong side’a town- I wanna say I seen it all, but I ain’t the braggin’ type, nor am I the one to claim I know it all. I will declare I’ve seen a lot of what compels people to define this country’s greatness, and I’ve seen potentially just as much that compels a man to kill himself. If the big man upstairs is keepin’ a stat list, I’m purdy damn sure Spencer and Toussaint have eluded the ol’ final note more times than Gaddafi, that being the fact both of’em err still alive at this moment- but that’s aside the point. This situation no where near the means of suicide or greatness, it was most definitely an all time low. It was the final year of my life on the roads of earth, and the final year of Toussaint’s denial. A certain denial, but no means of the last for’em. I can’t say when a man has come to terms with the truth, but the Dead-Man-Walking pace Mr. Morrison drudged at towards Dana’s mother and sister, there was no denyin’ the man had come to terms with his circumstance and lousiness. Like I said, I’ve seen some shit, but to watch a man walk towards the mother of his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend through 20 below zero temperature was damn near the saddest memory of my life. There’d only be settling at this point… no victory.
Seen there mouths movin’, but somehow that f*ckin’ Honda wasn’t startin’. If Toussaint or Dana’s family knew a damn thing about a thing, they’da seen the alternator was older than the 35w bridge that went down, and easily wasn’t the end of the world for the car. Alternators are replaceable- ain’t nuthin’ like an engine, exhaust manifold, intake manifold, blah blah blah- point bein’ the car wasn’t startin’. Toussaint and the ol’ gals left for a moment and returned to try and put engine coolant in the gas line. F*uckin’ hell Jon… First off, you put engine coolant in the engine coolant valve, UNDERNEATH THE HOOD- not the f’n gas line. Sure fire way to mess the damn thing up even better. The lack’a garage know-how will blind a man in this country.
Ol’ gals and Toussaint left the car. He hands over the keys along with his dignity to the women and rolls back to me. He and I head back to campus where critical maneuvers are to be made. The kid had several options: 1. Give up on the relationship with Dana & tell’er parents to go screw themselves all together, 2. Try and maintain the relationship, & tell’er parents to go screw themselves all together, 3. Give up on the relationship and take every last financial responsibility for the car, and lastly 4. Try and maintain the relationship while take every last financial responsibility for the car.
Dana’s father was quick with the altercation. The man was the 2nd coming in his small hometown, owner of several properties throughout it, and had a cadence that’d rob you of your self-confidence the second he shook your hand. The next day, he’d sent Toussaint an email that laid out two options. I understand you’re asking yourself how I know this- I’m a bus, I get it. If you’da taken a picture of the inside of me around this time, you’d hear just about every phone conversation between Toussaint and his trust-worthies and nabbed every paper of reported student loan debt and/or writing the man had ever came about. People talk about privacy… I was the lock & key of it to The Blend, and unfortunately to Toussaint. The two options can be summed up as such: Either pay me 2200 dollars and you can have the title to Honda- yes, the broken down Honda, or 2. You can pay me 1900 dollars for what the Honda is worth in scrap metal, and it gets trashed. If you haven’t smelled the bullshit yet, then clearly you don’t know the worth of an alternator and/or a junker car… and it ain’t above 1800, let alone 800. Sweet Christ on a Baptist- I nearly dropped my lugnuts and lost ma belts when I heard the likes of this!
Read back, think about it. You have a shitty hand, none but your fault… and now, you’ve just received word from the asshole lookin’ over your shoulder that you have a shittier hand than you thought. Where Honda could’ve just laid in peace, died a diligent death- Where Toussaint could have simply walked away from Dana and Honda, left it all in the past and chalked it up as a lesson learned- neither was an option. Of all things to retain when departing a debacle, I believe it’s a human’s natural instinct to salvage one thing in that tenure of heat and trial… that one thing being self-respect. Fortunately, Toussaint had become a kin to clinging to self-respect, and pride, and self-righteousness, in any situation that threatened it (If you’re saying “idiot” in your head, then we’re on the same page).
Toussaint had planned to spit in the eye of the asshole whispering over his shoulder- the guy that negated a civil discussion, the guy that was telling him and not asking, the guy that was trying to sell him a broke-down car for 2000 dollars. This would be difficult, just like anything involving a break-up and a car.