Kind Stallion

Papa has been gone for several years but his Seabiscuited heart remains.

His 1965 Mustang was my first love. I polished the steed with fanatical zest. I raced trucks and donkeys with victorious glee. I especially got my adrenaline by beating records between exit points. I never got over the powerful overdrive where the snout would lift and breathe crazy strokes.

I was 14 when I began driving.

One night, I stole dad's car while he was asleep. I rolled it out of the garage manually and sped quickly to a girl's house. Those were days of misplaced ego. I was at my best game ... trying to be who I was not. 

It was past midnight and raining cats and dogs. On the way out, I noticed the road's shoulder turned marshmallow. When I started the engine, the car began pulling sideways and instantaneously fell into the ditch. Foul-smelling murk filled the cabin like a jester's prank. I was frozen with panic. How in the world can I recover the mess?

I called home:

Me: Papa ...
Dad: Uhmm ... (just roused from sleep)
Me: Your car fell sideways ...
Dad: Uh ... it's parked in the garage ...
Me: No, Pa ... I drove it ... I am at Jennifer's house ...
Dad: What? ... What happened?
Me: Sorry, Pa ... there was an accident ... the Mustang is half-buried in water ...
Click.

Five minutes later, three strong men were helping us pull the soiled horse out from the pit.

Moments later ... father and I were walking side by side in the drizzle:

Me: So Sorry ... Pa ...
Dad: It happens ...
Me: So sorry ...
Dad: If you need the car, just tell me ... you don't need to steal ...
Me: Sorry, Pa ...
Dad: (Silence) [puts his arm around my drooped shoulders].

I wonder if I should consider buying a Shelby just to honor the gracious mercy I took one embarrassing night.