On 10th and North Lamar Boulevard, in Austin TX, there used to be a car lot. Used cars, new cars, old dreams, new dreams were sold and there were balloons and little colorful flags strung up to lure and entice and they would flap and wave in the wind, the warm breeze blowing from the south. Imagine fathers bringing their sons in for that first car, their very own first car, which will forever be connected to a string of memories, waving in the wind just like those colorful flags. This is the car he will pick up his girlfriend with, take her out to the movies, get his first kiss…and maybe more if things go well. This car will take him to the swimming holes in the summers and to school and his part time job and everywhere in between.
“Here you go, son”, the man says and drops the keys in the boy’s stretched out hand. “Now don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, and if I ever hear about you drunk driving or some stupid shit like that, I will take the car back, ok? If you should get pulled over cause you’re drunk or high or something, I will not bail you out. Got that? I’m serious; having your own car is a big responsibility. It’s not a toy. Your mom and I are getting this for you so you can be more independent. You’re a smart kid and we want the best for you, so don’t let us down.” The kid clutches his hand around the keys and he tries to sound all grown up and manly when he says “Yes dad”, but his voice cracks just a little bit because he’s happy and excited and nervous and he sounds so much more like a kid than a man and for a second he blushes and he turns his head away so his dad won’t see. Finally – his own car! Even if it’s just a 1990 Toyota minitruck and the paint has already started to come off, it’s HIS very own car! He clears his throat and stretches out his hand to his dad. “Thank you!”. This time his voice is steady and he feels like a man, but then his dad gets a strange look in his eyes and pulls him in and gives him a big hug and he runs his hand across his head, messing up his hair and there he goes; back to feeling like a boy again. This time it’s his father’s voice that cracks up when he says: “I can’t believe you’re so big already…where the hell did time go?” He sighs and shakes his head. With his hands on the boy’s shoulders he says “Please be careful, son, your mom and I love you very much, OK?”
“OK dad”. Then the dad turns and walks away. “See you for dinner, don’t be late!”
And the memories begin. The flags are strung up, wrapped around the lampposts and the fence surrounding the lot and everything fades in the sun and in time. The flags wither and rip, eventually, the once so bright colors faint and faded . Like friends and things you do and places you’ve been and things you’ve said and seen that you thought at the moment would be with you forever. Emotions once so strong – now you struggle to remember. It’s a damn short movie, that’s for sure.
Color pencil on paper
24″ X 20″