My 1993 Ford Ranger is called the Green Shark, for it has no known natural enemies. With impunity it glides through the roadways. It is even left alone by larger, faster, taller trucks-the elevated, jacked-up deals driven by aggressive young men not yet in prison. You know, the guys in the stands at ball games ready to fight.
It rides in stillness, having the steady, even hand of a veteran. On the road the Shark has met with not a single incident, altercation, or mishap. The only time it shows the slightest acquiescence is when it comes across a much larger green truck. Then it slows down a little bit.
This is my first truck. I have not been a truck guy. But when I first got the Shark, I went out and bought truck things: cords, straps, cables, flares, tools and stuff, none of which I have ever used. When I stood in the bed of the truck, trying to organize the ropes and hoops and oil of much, much viscosity that I had bought at the auto parts store, my wife rolled her eyes at me, the truck rookie. But the Shark bore the extra weight with the equanimity of a manservant.
The Shark wasn’t always ours. It was a rescue truck. In 2004 it had been abandoned, left to fend for itself, desolate. We took it in as our own, robbing someone I think of a tax break.
It is not a subtle green, but bright with purple trim, the sort of colors on twenty year-old American vehicles one finds plentiful in Kenya or South America, with different colored doors than the body, and mufflers attached by wires. For all we know, if we hadn’t rescued the Shark, that’s where it might have ended up. In Columbia, forced to haul substances of a questionable nature.
Or perhaps that is from where the Shark originally came. Maybe, I don’t know, maybe looking for a better life, it crossed the border. To America it came, eluding the hand of the Minute Men. The Green Shark suddenly with an enemy–patriots frantically prowling the vast desert tracts in larger, faster trucks. equiped with top-notch electronics in order to coordinate with other patriots over the hill. Perhaps.
We really don’t know its past, or care; we are comfortable in indeterminancy. But we do know that the Green Shark is legal and has a home.