I grew up in a large city. Not as huge as Cleveland but still sizable enough to take at least 3 hours to walk across from east to west. Often I would take the public bus if I was feeling lazy that day or had an extra $1.25 in my purse.
I had been out of high school over a year, working at a nursery school (making $6.00 an hour back in ’93 was pretty sweet) and saving up to buy myself a car.
I was on the bus coming home one afternoon after hanging out with a friend in downtown Lakewood, staring out the window waiting for my stop. Even then I would have to walk a whole block just to get to my house.
Passing a car dealership, I swore that I saw my mother talking to a man. Next to them was a 1987 Dodge Omni. It was a light-blue 4-door with a hatchback. If it had been sunny that day instead of overcast I’m sure that it would have sparkled like unicorn turds.
It was beautiful.
I quickly pulled the string on the bus to notify the driver that I wanted off at the next stop. I walked to the front of the bus, heart racing and my adrenaline pumping.
Could it be true? Was my mom really getting me a car??
I hopped off of the bus and ran as fast as my legs could take me. (I was 19 and this was still possible.)
One block, two blocks…and finally block number three and there I saw her, it was my mother after all! I hadn’t been hallucinating.
I hadn’t been dreaming.
I ran up to them, panting a little bit.
“Oh,” my mom said shocked to see me, “I was going to surprise you!”
The dealership guy smiled at me brightly with bright white chicklets.
“What do you think young lady?” he asked me, gesturing to the freshly washed Omni.
“I love it!!” I exclaimed. I pictured myself driving my friends around, going to the mall and to the park to wax it until it gleamed.
“The payments are $80 dollars a month and I’ll take care of the insurance,” my mom said.
“Cool! Thanks, mom! Holy shit!” (I am embellishing here for I cannot remember exactly what I said.)
“How did you know that I was here?”
“Oh, I saw you as I was driving by on the bus!”
We all had a good laugh and then it was time to drive my new car home.
That was one of my best memories from that time period in my life. I loved that little car. It was my baby. I taught my brother how to drive in it. He nicknamed it The Blueberry.
I think it’s really neat to have driven by at that exact moment to see my mom finalizing the deal. What were the odds?
I should have played the lottery that day.