Writing Project Flotsam Pt 2

Warning: I haven’t had time to edit or proof most of this writing project stuff. A lot of it is simply journaling, free thought and etc. Maybe I’ll feel like painting some of these turds later, but not right now.

Marathon Writing pt 2: Presque Isle

I’m sitting on a rock facing the ore dock as a freighter is slowly making it’s way in to unload. To the left of the docks is the Superior Dome. First of all, great name. Isn’t there anybody more imaginitive that could come up with a better name. I know it is unofficially called the Yooper Dome, but I’m not sure I like that either.

Damn thing looks like a UFO landed. Does anybody think that is a cool looking building from the outside? It’s covered in a gray tarp FFS. It’s like that neighbor that is going to put siding on his house in 2001 and in 2008 he still has the Tyvek up.

Left of me are rocks from the lake. I wonder how many years they had to take on their journey for the tides to finally bring them to the beach. Were they already there and the erosion just exposed them to the light?

Right of me are more lake rocks, followed by sand with many gulls flying over the masts of multiple boats in the harbor.

Oh, black smoke is really pumping from the freighter now. They must be throttling something back or they are starting some machinery that helps them get rid of their load. It’s trickled back to white smoke now so I’m betting they started some piece of machinery that I can’t see. I had a diesel Ford Tempo once used to make black smoke like that when I started it and then as the engine warmed up the smoke would fade to gray and then white then to an invisible exhaust.

I had a lot of fun with that car in high school. The thing got almost forty miles to the gallon long before forty miles to the gallon was hip or cool.

To call it a sluggish car is an understatement though. It was a manually shifted five speed and if you wanted to pass someone you had to slingshot around them. You had to fade way back from the car in front of you, downshift and hammer the accelerator when you anticipated the road in front of you would be clear enough and straight enough to pass. If by the time you were nosing the other guy’s bumper and the road ahead turned out not to be clear, you had to fade back and try again next time. It was rusty and red and really physically unappealing. I had two choices in high school. Let the the kids make fun of me for what I drove or embrace the vehicle for the awkward, ungainly, ball of shortcomings it was.

I would pull up to stoplight and rev my engine next to some really hot Mustang or Trans Am and offer to race for pinks. They would look at me and laugh. Only the truly dopey old people or the ones that took themselves too seriously didn’t get the joke which only made me think they were the joke. I mean that car might be able to peel out if I threw it in reverse, got it up to 35 then dropped it back into first and that’s still a maybe. I tend to think that tactic just would have broken something in the driveline though.

Then when I was asked to drive to a party I would arch my eyebrows and tell people which ones I thought were good enough and which ones didn’t deserve to ride in my Tempo. That was usually accompanied by some eyebrow arching and a sarcastic mulling frown.

When I asked a girl out I would often list the Tempo as one of my strengths and reasons why she should date me. “Zee-ro to 55 in about a minute and a half given a good tailwind and a slight downhill slope. You need that kind of excitement,” I would tell the girl. That would get a smile. I lived for the smile from a pretty girl. Lived and died.

Because I endorsed my embarassmentmobile, it became a running joke. Not the bad kind of “I’m ripping on you joke”, but the good kind that everybody was in on with me. Soon the other kids were asking to ride in my car and telling me what a sweet ride I had.


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