My daughter was a very definitive curly blond thing that was simply delightful at every point of her five-month existence, and for some unknown reason, in spite of my shattered condition, colostomy bag, and scant physical presence, she found me to be the apple of her eye. Where I went, at dead ahead slow speed, through the apartment, she followed or preceded along like she’d been waiting all five months of her life for my kind of direction. She crawled, but, for the most part, so did I.
I couldn’t fix the GTO. The engine was shot. It only ran at all because it had eight huge cylinders, three large carburetors, and a four-speed transmission that was all but indestructible. It limped along when it ran at all. Pat’s car was needed by her for her job, which was all that was keeping us in the apartment because my pay records from Vietnam had not caught up with me.

Going through the yellow pages I found a garage, attached to a Sears and Roebuck store not too far from us. The shop promised to rebuild an entire engine, no matter what the car, for six hundred dollars. We didn’t have six hundred dollars but I called them anyway. There was no hope and the person I talked to basically said just that.
How would we get the car there anyway, as it didn’t seem to have even one more mile in its living inventory? How would we get back? We could depend upon Pat when she was done with work, but it would be better not to. My wife could drive the GTO, but her driving, what with the thirty-pound clutch and the jerking, balking, and stalling 389 cubic inch engine, was a bit of a hesitantly rolling nightmare. I was certain I could drive but neither my wife nor anybody else around in their right mind was going to let me try. But the real problem was the money. We didn’t have six hundred dollars. We didn’t have twenty dollars. We barely had any change.