Monday, November 1, 2010

The Truck

Sawan had a 1999 Chevy S10 pickup.  It was white.  He bought it new.  Somewhere I have a Polaroid of him shaking hands with the salesman.  He loved that little truck. 

This was the only photo I could find of the truck.  Sawan, with my cousin, Becky, and her husband, Tushar, fishing on the SanJuan in 2007.
It was a fishing truck.  The back window was full of TFO and other fly-fishing company stickers.  It took him to the mountains to go fishing so many times that no one could count.  If those seats could talk, I’d love to hear about all of the conversations that took place in that cab. 

The bed had held so much stuff.  It moved all of his stuff into my condo when we got married, it carried Christmas trees back from the mountains when we’d go up there to cut them down.  The day before he died it carried all of my files and important stuff from the shop getting it ready for the sale.

He kissed me for the first time in that truck.  I remember thinking that night, that that was my “last first kiss.”

In spite of all that, I never really liked the truck.  It was old.  It stunk.  It had that stale coffee and cigarette smell constantly, even after we quit smoking.  The weather sealing on the driver’s side door had quit working so it was always really loud, like you were driving on the highway with the window rolled down.  The heater actually worked really great, but there were four settings, and number two didn’t work.  Also, the gas gauge was broken.  He ran it out of gas several times.  He learned to be disciplined (about the only thing in his life he was very disciplined about) about filling it up all the way, and setting the trip counter, and knowing that he had 320 miles before he had to fill it up. 

Plus, who has a truck in Colorado that’s rear wheel drive?  It didn’t do great in the snow.  I made fun of this all the time, saying it was kind of a “pussy truck.”  That didn’t earn me big points.  Clearly I was wrong about this, though, because trucks are trucks.  When we were dating and my nephew got to ride in it for the first time, his eyes lit up, full of little boy wonder, and said “You and Sawan have a TRUCK?!”

I drove it exactly once.  I told Sawan that I should drive it just in case I ever HAD to.  He agreed.  It had a bench seat, so bringing it to where I could *almost* reach the pedals put his knees by his ears.  (I’m 5’2”).  Also, he was pretty much the only one that had ever driven it, so it had a permanent indention of his butt.  This gave it a sort of “sunken in” shape that made it very difficult for me to see over the steering wheel.  I drove it from the Safeway at Hampden and Logan to the nursery at SantaFe and Belleview.  A distance of 3.43 miles. 

This is why it was impossible for me to decide what to do with it.  I didn’t want to drive it anywhere.  I didn’t want to even get in it again.  I had opened it to get something out in the week or so after he died, but that was it.  Thinking about what to do with it was just paralyzing.  I knew I would have to clean it, and getting out the Fresca cans and coffee cups was just more than I knew how to deal with.  Plus, I had no idea what I would find behind the seat, and that was daunting, too (once I had been totally out of hangers for laundry and he moved the back seat for something, and there were probably about 40 plastic hangers back there.  He would carry his work shirt down to the truck on a hanger, and not wanting to wrinkle it, put it on in the parking lot at work, then stash the hanger behind the seat.).

So it sat in the parking lot across from the condo. 

On Friday, my friend who still lives in the condo building called and asked what I had finally decided to do with the truck.  Ummmm….Nothing, yet.  It was at this point that we both said bad words because we realized that it had been stolen. 

In some ways this feels like a good thing.  Now I don’t have to clean it.  I don’t have to decide what to do with it, someone else decided for me.  I’m also really sad, though.  It had a little bag hanging from the rearview mirror with a little rock fox in it.  And his emergency fly-rod and fishing kit were in there.  I would have liked to have had those.

So, goodbye, little truck.  You safely carried my man to the mountains for me so many times.  You carried our lives around in your bed.  We fell in love in your cab.  Thank you for being so good to us.


  1. oh man, what to say... that just sucks. Some of my best memories are riding around in that truck too.

  2. Yea. My best convo's with Sawan were in the bed of that truck. We would talk till' all hours of the night and smoke and tell stories of our childhood's. That's where I fell in love with him too and knew that he was good enough for my best friend. Love you.