Last Saturday morning, Steve rolled out the ’55 Chevy and we drove downtown to have breakfast with our friend Mason. It’s such a cool car—as I’ve said before, a one-car parade. Red and white and waxed to a mirror shine.
We parked on Illinois Street, walked up a block to LePeep, had a great breakfast and lots of fun catching up with Mason. Afterward, approaching the Chevy, Steve stopped short.
“Shit,” he said. “I don’t fucking believe this!”
Someone—in broad daylight—had stolen the chrome “Chevrolet” from the front fender on passenger side of the car. He (or she) must have wedged a pocketknife or maybe a key just underneath it and flipped it off.
My question is, Why?
I am a professional imaginer, after all. I teach imagination—and how I teach it is to say, simply, “Your imagination is not more than your ability to ask, What if?’ And to keep asking it until you hit upon the right thing.”
But, for the life of me, I cannot imagine why a person—in broad daylight, on a busy city street—would have done this.
Okay, I know the chrome “Chevrolet” was cool. I can think of any number of kinds of people who might like to have it. Car nuts, for example. Collectors. Or the 60-ish lady who once asked Steve if she could please sit in the back seat, just for a moment—as a memento of that other time.
Maybe it’s the in broad daylight/on a busy city street that has me stumped. You (whoever you are) are just walking along and you see this cool car parked on the street and getting closer you notice the chrome “Chevrolet” and…
You saunter over and flip it off with your pocketknife?
You’re pissed off that somebody other than you owns a cool car like that and want to do something to spoil his day?
You’re hopped up on drugs or maybe mentally ill and you’re drawn to the chrome sparkling in the sun and some wacko voice in your head tells you it’s a cosmic message just waiting for you and directs you to take it—and you do?
You’re old and homeless and sad and the “Chevrolet” reminds you of happier days? You need it, so you take it.
You’re young and cocky and you take it on a dare?
Help me here?
What if? Where’s the story.
And where is that “Chevrolet” now?