The pain of separation

Published 9:58 pm Tuesday, December 11, 2012

By Rex Alphin

We met a few years back, in 1999 to be exact. I knew the minute I saw her she would be mine one day. Just the way she looked. The way she moved. My, what curves! Smooth, I tell you.

That was 13 years ago. Thirteen years! We have been through a lot since then. Oh, we have had some rough spots. Doesn’t everybody? But we stuck it out, no matter what.

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Isn’t it funny how you grow together through the years? As if the trying times make you that much closer. Yes sir, I don’t know what I’d do without my pickup truck.

There are a lot of personal reasons we are so close. We both bear age marks. That dent on her fender? Comes from rounding up that hard-headed bull back in ’02. We both remember that one. Those scrapes down the side? Too many logging paths. The bent tailgate? I cut down that tree just a tad too close in ’08. And the oil dripping underneath? Well, you’d be dripping oil too after pulling 500 loaded peanut trailers out of sandy fields.

Which brings me to my point. For some reason, the driver’s side window got somewhat crooked and stuck. And I knew then I’d have to leave her somewhere to get fixed. Overnight. With strangers.

I nervously drove to the service garage and dropped her off. My dad picked me up. As I looked back, I believe I saw a tear from the left headlight. It was hard, I tell you. For both of us.

I hardly slept that night. Tossed and turned, fretting and worrying. Getting up and staring out the window. Wondering and imagining the worst. I thought the sun would never rise. Next day, I hurried back to the garage, and there she was. Fixed! Like new!

I slid in over the exposed springs in the worn out driver’s seat. Ran my hands over the frazzled steering wheel cover. Reached up and felt all the nuts, bolts, fountain pens, and chain links in the defrost vents.

I glanced at the broken tools, spent batteries, and 10-year-old farm magazines behind the seat and noticed the broken glove-compartment door that had been hanging open since 2005.

Yessirree, I was home. We were back together.

I slid the transmission into drive, feeling for the right slot since the indicator broke in 2009, and eased out into the highway, straining to hear that familiar roar. I thought about the last few days.

Yes sir, separation is painful.