It’s easy to take one’s tools for granted. Day in and day out, year after year, familiarity is said to breed contempt, but it also breeds indifference. Such is the case of my 18-year-old Nissan truck, which throughout our life together, beginning when I drove her brand new off the Glendale Nissan lot in July of 1997 with 18 miles on her odometer (she’s got about 127,000 and change presently), has dependably and dutifully gotten me from my points of origin to destination with no muss and no fuss (a couple of dead batteries along the way notwithstanding).
I’m not much for the pretense prevalent in you-are-what-you-drive Los Angeles, but at the same time this truck most definitively makes a true statement as to who I am. Certainly heads don’t turn when she passes, except maybe in cases of those few angelenos who might appreciate old pick-ups relatively well-maintained — and I definitely don’t make it easy for them to admire seeing how as I’ve only washed her roughly four times in the last six years.
The most recent of those washes came last weekend, spurred on in part by a rather thorough cleaning/organizing/purging of the garage. The truck’s thick blanket of dust and grime just didn’t look right in its corner of the freshly spiffed-up carport. So this past Saturday I rolled her over to a local self-wash, soaped her up, scrubbed her, rinsed her, toweled her dry, and dang if she hasn’t been catching my eye these last couple days — so much so that coming back from lunch yesterday afternoon I stopped and snapped the above photo.
Look too close and you’ll see the ravages of time; myriad pings, dings, scratches, pocks and the like. But from where I’m standing she’s a thing of beauty deserving my appreciation.