The Fictional Car


I'm waiting to be picked up for a date. I’m uneasy because my date said that he’s coming in a  car.

Panoramic shot of car in forest

A car complicates everything. If it were a taxicab or a motorbike, then my assumptions would’ve been simpler. I look at passing sedans, SUVs, trucks and bajaj's and I wonder which one he's gonna  pop out from.

The moment I see his car, I’ll know how he’ll finish his salutary “Hey, honey…”

  1. …wanna watch a movie and have dinner?


  2. …roll up your pants, let's haunt for a clean gutter to skylark.

If it were fancy car, I’d wonder how he managed to legally afford it. IF it’d been his own car  at all, not his daddy's. I’d also wonder about the legality of their business. I don’t mind boys who have rich parents and aren’t abashed to show it off. I just don’t want to be deported over a scandalous date, you see?

On the other hand, if it were not an overly fancy car, and we had to roll down the windows to keep it running, I might've teased him about it, and respected him all the better. Being single in our thirties and managing to afford a car in Jakarta (no matter how beat that car is), implies that something's either really wrong or really right about him is going on.

But this is our THIRD date, so I shouldn’t worry too much about that, right?

More importantly, it’s not the type or make or price of a car, really, that makes the actual difference. It’s the owner’s personal imprints that tells all the important stories.

A car is like a traveling bedroom; plucked from either a hotel, or a home. The knickknacks and smells and layers of dust, disclose volumes of unspoken details that would’ve been too impolite or boring to tell.

Of course, there are times when it could've been both; that it was his daddy's down payment, and it’s his money that kept the car in their possession.

And those make the most interesting stories, you know? Stories about parents who've done well in raising grateful children. Stories about children who came back home and to keep their retiring folks company.

The kind of stories you’d want a car to tell, with her windows down and the morning light streaming and your sweetheart driving.

UPDATE: Added a link on the Third Date phrase, in case there's a confusion to what it means, courtesy to some of my faithful readers.

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