There, on the off ramp, out of nowhere, her rusted Toyota coughed, gasped, then screamed before falling completely silent. She was within sight of the car dealerships on Mendenhall and could hear the horrible music blaring beneath the roar of the interstate traffic.
Her Toyota had never been new. She couldn’t ever remember a time when the air conditioning had worked. The windows were the kind you had to roll up by hand, the mirrors were hand adjusted, too. Once she’d forgotten to roll them up when it rained, and the interior had never smelled right after. She could see repugnance creep across her friend’s faces whenever she had to drive then anywhere.
But, it had been with her when she decided to leave her small town and find something better. It was her love of Elvis that had made Memphis the dot on the map she aimed for, and it was that old beater Toyota that had gotten her here. It had driven her to the first day of her dream job, and to the first date with her fiance. It was hers.
So, she got out and did the only thing that felt right.
She started to push.
Car dealerships attract other car dealerships, and the stretch of Mendenhall just south of the the 240 loop is a perfect example of this. Vinyl banners flap in the wind, inflatable animals of all shapes and sizes loom over the car lots, and quick-tongued car dealers are waiting to cut you a deal on the car of your dreams. And, if you can’t find what you’re looking for on their lot, just go next door. They’re sure to have it.