Patty's Green Prelude

Leaves fell from the car’s roof when Patty opened the passenger door.  The lever releasing the shotgun seat had been, for a few years now, nearly impossible for his friends to budge, but he knew the trick.  He slid his chest onto the back seat and glided his hands over cigarette burns to where the cushions met, reached between them, looking for the miniature orange and blue woven wool satchel his favorite girl had given him for his birthday.

Patty proceeded to check every crevice of his ’89 Prelude’s interior, lifting the splotchily stained floor mats, removing some books and debris from beneath the front seats.  An old Doors cassette nestled within a tear in the center console, 'Waiting for the Sun,' saw its first daylight in years, but no satchel.

All hope lost, he retreated from the car and stood staring at it: bungee cords holding its back bumper in place, rear wheel missing a hubcap, scratched metallic green paint.

Resigned to visit the girl without the small pouch and its contents, he climbed into the driver’s seat through the passenger side door, just because it was already open.  He popped in the old Doors tape and listened to 'Love Street' as he drove to her apartment.

When he arrived and parked the Prelude, something unexpectedly fell to the pavement.  He looked down and there it was.  Must’ve been lodged between the door and the driver’s seat all along, he thought, smiling.  As he walked the front steps of the apartment building, he turned back toward his worn old ride.  It seemed like the car was winking at him: one headlight open and the other one shut.  For all of the vehicle’s frequent malfunctions, Patty couldn’t recall any headlight issues, but his memory may have been foggy.

(Listen to The Doors' 'Love Street' here)


  1. Delightful story, it was almost like the car was playing a small trick on him.

    Nice descriptive writing here Richard, you enabled me to see everything through Patty's eyes.

    The link to the music didn't work, so I hope I haven't missed an important point to the story revealed in the music. ^_^

  2. Okay the link did work and that was a cool song! ^_^

  3. Thank you, Helen! I'm glad you liked this little story and the song too, once the link eventually worked for you.

  4. I like Helen's theory that the car was playing a prank!

    On the critical side, was there a reason you mentioned that it was an ’89 Prelude in the second paragraph? Seemed too specific that far in for me and broke the flow, so I wonder if I missed a point.

  5. Hi, John, and thank you for your critique. I did have a specific reason for mentioning the Prelude's year, and that was to indicate to those who know this model of Honda that Patty's was one with headlights that open and shut. From 1978 - 1982, the Prelude's headlights did not have this feature. From 1983 - 1991, they did. From 1992 - 2001, once again they did not. Sadly, Honda discontinued the Prelude in late 2001.

    All of the above having been written, I still may have been wrong to include the car's year from the standpoint of flow, and I'm not 100% sure it was necessary as a supporting detail for the car's eventual 'wink' . . . what do you think? Do the wordy details above in this comment justify the mention of the car's year to you, or do you think I should've omitted it?

  6. Some cars just have "Personality" don't they? I think maybe this one could give Herbie a run for his money. :)

  7. I love the idea of the car winking! Seems like it has a lot of personality.

  8. I like Helen's theory of the car playing a prank too.

  9. Hi, Steve, I wholeheartedly agree, sometimes I even have very one sided conversations with my car (just kidding about the conversations).

    Icy, thanks! The car I had in mind when I wrote this piece most certainly did.

    Tim, I like that idea too, thanks for mentioning it again.