But today everything is different. It's my first day out since I done got reborn.
Last time I hit the lot, where they take a bunch of old clankers like me and try to put some pretty frills over all our rusty and dented and broken parts, it was a young college student whose head turned as she caught a glimpse of me. She didn't haggle much, too excited about a car of her own, especially one as stylish as me – as I used to be. Once upon a time, I was classy. I was fine. I had style. And somehow, under the rust and the little bit of cough, she saw that. And she took me home.
That ain't the good part. That ain't the rebirth. I been took home by 9 people over the years, counting every one of them. Last few, though, they never bothered to do much with me. Maybe they'd fix up the cough if they could- though it always came back – but they didn't try to patch up any of the flaking paint, or the rust spots, or the dirt crusted all over.
This girl, though... I tell you, she was pleased when she got me home. Folks don't usually get so excited about me anymore, but for her, it was like I was new. First thing she did was take me to a car wash. It's just like a good rain storm, 'cept it scrubs all the places the rain don't quite rinse out good enough. Next she swapped out some of my crankier parts for new ones, and freshened up the inside, much better than the seller had done. And after that – well, after that, she got out the paint.
Don't know how many years it'd been since I got painted. I was half faded red and half flaked away to chrome and the rest was rust. But she scraped me off and she wiped me down and she splashed on a new coat of paint, all over, deep shining blue. She smoothed it all over until I was slick and bright-looking, and I felt like I might be getting some of that old style back.
And today she drove me out to the store, first time since my new look, and those birds are chattering away in the branches right above my head. I reckon they're planning who'll get to poop first. Maybe their droppings will land on my windshield, the ugliest spot, although visible enough that she might wipe it away, she's that careful about her new car.
I like being new again, at least for a while.
A bird hops down from the branches, and makes the first scratches in my new-painted roof. I settle on my tires. Inside the store, she's gathering up her things and walking from the checkout.
The little bird flies away, though. It didn't do much damage. I know, as I sit waiting for her to cross the parking lot, that it's only a matter of time. Day by day, the birds and the weather and the road'll chip away at my new skin, aging me up again, a mite faster than before. I know I ain't got long to relish the fresh new paint job, the feeling of style, and the girl who treats me like I came off the manufacturing line yesterday.
But for right now, I set my wheels to not think about that. What's going to happen don't matter. For today, my engine don't even cough as she starts it up, and the birds above done flew away, and I cruise out of the parking lot shining clean and bluer than the sky overhead. Today, I got my style back.
And it feels mighty fine.