About “A Galaxy Close, Close By”

Take all the words you’ve forgotten specific to car parts and pieces, engineer them in such a way that they fit into a large bin labeled “Words Doug always knew about cars” … and there’s your answer! Your answer to a question you didn’t know you had, right?

Ask yourself this question: “What does a pianist – who sells Dawgs and writes a blog – know about cars?”

Nothing. Nada. Ziltch.

So, imagine my frustration each time a customer wants details about this automobile parked a few paces to my left. I know very little.

The owner pokeyed his young body by seven weeks ago to tell me the ’68 Galaxy was for sale, but neglected to give me any contact relevancy: his name, address, or additional information helpful to his cause. I’m floating here, and not just in a few parking spaces with my she-cart (yes, my metal business partner has a pronoun). I’m lofting, freely, in a huge, uninformed, vacuous mental space most times when the other metal heap arrives in conversation.

My customers who ask DO know some details. They tell me this-and-that’s about its engine size (if there is one in there … hood is locked), the interior originality, tire size, make and model details pegging the year of manufacture, “possible” asking price(s) due to current condition and restoration estimations, and the legality of parking on the street currently (local police have confirmed it is legal). I’ve come to surely know the body of said owner IS significantly younger than the body of this car … that is a fact. Other than this, I’m as lost as light in any black hole spinning ferociously in our universe …. eer … our Galaxy, shall I say.

Of course, one significant detail is missing: Price. There’s a price to pay and nobody knows. Well, not “nobody”.

The dude who is so eagerly motivated to sell the Galaxy knows. Or, does he? Furthermore, is “eager” allowed to be entered into the conversation? Eager, in my shifty little gear grinding mind, means telling me, the 4-days a week occupado-dude, – at the very least – a name and phone number IF he wants the secrets of this Galaxy to be revealed; Otherwise, why bother bothering a body busily bunning beef burgers and deliciously dripping dawgs in the first place? I’m the person most likely able to facilitate a sale faster than this hot rod could travel on its best day, so, why didn’t he share a financial flicker of hope my way the first – and only time – we met?

He told me the automobile was for sale. At what price? We may never know. The unknown about the Galaxy continues. What we have here is Sagan-esque dialogue combined with Lucas-style directing for the ultimate in Western PA’s version of, “A Galaxy Close, Close By” …

For sixteen hours a week, it’s been closer to me than any Carpenter’s lyric could ever long to be. And, for today, I had to imagine a larger, deeper meaning to derive any satisfaction from gazing upon it one more minute of one more day … the Galaxy close by delivered.

And here it is: There is no answer right now.

Everyone wants one, but it’s quite elusive and the dark matter of our current time. Great minds, fraught with distress, study the larger galaxy of societal equality with little results as deaf ears to opposing viewpoints reign. To some, politics trump science as the reverse spins true as well. Covid-19 is a seasonal flu strain vs. an all-out pandemic. Black is white anymore.

Maybe, the better way to phrase it is, “There’s no easy answer, anymore.” The Galaxy handed us a ridiculous 2020. Two issues, Covid-19 and the race debate/George Floyd concerns have us in a major tither where questions spew out faster than Fugaku can compute the infinite digits of pi. Pick any question related to either Covid or Race, and the answer isn’t as easy as you may expect … not because of an affirmation or refutation in return. WHO you ask is the “no easy answer”…

Opinions are so diverse across this country. Facts are even different from one news station to the other. The same medical question can be asked to one doctor on CNN or MSNBC which elicits a completely different response from a different doctor on FOX. Apparently, in regard to the Constitution, scholars can disagree on the basic ideas and rights set forth by our founding fathers. What IS the right answer to any question being asked these days? Heck if I know. Certainly, asking a civil rights activist a question – about race relations in America – would be a different from asking someone not affiliated, or actively involved, with the movement.

I’m just a simple guy staring into oppressive heat-laden mist these days. It’s a sure bet a 1968 half-to-more-than-a-third beat up Galaxy will be sitting curbside when I sputter up beside it again. This is a small universe of food and fun I’ve become accustomed to over the years and have aligned my easy answers with the questions I’ve had. Condiments, propane, weather, utensils, steam tables, grills, paper goods, etc… these are all small issues and small problems to solve.

The Galaxy, I must admit, is a small problem. I wish it would sell … or, be somehow moved to another location. The questions, although intriguing, are becoming somewhat of an insolvable pain in the ass as long as there’s no contact available.

Until then, I must suffer gladly through my recalcitrant automotive attitude concerning the constant remembrances, recollections, and inquiries. I’ll stand my ground and attempt to appease the unanswerable Galaxy’s questions being hurled at me through the resistance-less, sound-less space. I am, after-all, the foremost expert of all things automotive, right? As a final reminder, there is no monetary value placed upon this four-wheeled gem …

… But there is a price being paid … and I am paying it.

Sure hope Mr. “Ain’t been around” offers a nice commission for my efforts.

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