Sunday, December 18, 2005

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Outside the van, on Lindell Avenue, the young woman pleaded with my partner not to boot her late-model Toyota Scion. The Saint Louis University student, had just completed her last final of the semester. That temporary relief had suddenly been replaced with the anxiety that her car might soon be towed away for non-payment of parking tickets. She wore a small gold ring in her nose and her skin was the color of coffee with extra cream. The knit cap, pulled low on her brow, bore pins that espoused her social awareness. I watched from inside the van, listening to a Christmas carol on the radio. After we drove away from the scene, I felt vaguely depressed until I switched stations and happened to hear the Bottle Rockets singing $1,000 Car, a humorous lament on the poor man's transportation plight. The student could afford to pay her fine.