My brother bought it, a '94 Nissan Altima, when I was a junior in high school. It was the first time we had a kid car, and it wasn't even that. It was Bri's car, I just got to drive him to work in it. Then seminary, then school, and back to pick him up again. Gray-blue, inside and out. It smelled like musky aftershave--someone's desperate attempts to cover up the cigarette smell while the burns on the front passenger seat were left to fend for themselves. It was a stick and had a little bit o' pick-up. It had pep. Kinda like a retired race horse, they never really loose their sprint. It was fast, especially for a sedan. I loved driving that car. Bri left on his mission and his car became the official, unofficial kid car. We took a few liberties. Although I'm pleased to report that it survived his mission and Bri wrecked it sometime after he got home...he wasn't at fault.
One wintry day, post seminary, sitting in the church parking lot I waited for everyone else to clear out. A couple hundred yards of snow and ice covered blacktop lay stretched out before me. Unaffected. Unscathed. Hushed and taunting. Some temptations are irresistible. I knew the potential of that white top and my bowling ball bald tires. When my brothers had piled in, I brought that engined to life and felt the anticipation of a couple hundred horses braying beneath my bare hands. I gripped the wheel and the stick, smiling, as a turned to my brothers, one in the front and one in the back, "Buckle up boys," I said, "we're going for a ride."