By Harley W. Lond
Father’s Day Sunday was so very nice in Beverly Hills. The sun was warm, its rays sparkling through the swaying of the elm and eucalyptus trees. It smelled fresh and clean. Early in the evening I decided to ride my bike up to the post office — about a mile away — and maybe cruise on in to the Whole Foods for some fresh vegetables. I put on my riding clothes (paint-stained black Levis, sweatshirt) and riding gloves, adjusted my helmet, carried my bike downstairs, and hopped on it … only to hear a bang — the tire went flat. Cursing, I walked back upstairs.
What to do. I still had some letters to mail, but didn’t want to drive my car anywhere. So I decided to walk to another, closer post office, about five blocks away, on South Beverly Drive. That would be a leisurely journey as the sun went down.
I walked to the post office, mailed my letters, then sauntered up Beverly, stopping at Peet’s for an iced latte (with an add shot for an extra kick). I sat on an outside bench, watching the young marrieds walking by, dragging their kicking kids (“why do we have to walk so fast, daddy?”). Some people were just gathering for dinner now, some ganging up at the local Chipotle or the Mulberry Street Pizza, others just leaving, waiting for their car in front of Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Surprisingly, most places were empty; it was almost 7:30, maybe too late for Sunday dinner on Father’s Day.
I walked North on Beverly to Wilshire, past a couple high-end restaurants that seemed deserted, past a new bar called Honor, with a blaring honky tonk band and hamburgers sizzling on a stove, then traveled east toward Rexford. I started to feel a little sorry for myself, a little lonely. And that’s when I saw it, sitting behind the window at the high-end sports car showroom: a gorgeous, sexy, new-to-these-shores Alfa Romeo 8C (available for just 200,000 euros). Talk about love at first sight.
There’s only been a few cars I’ve ever really wanted so bad I could taste it: a 1963 Sting Ray, a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gull-Wing, a 57 Chevy two-door, a Cobra, an early Alfa Sprint, my current 2008 Mustang … but this baby, oh my.
I stood there for a couple of minutes, thinking about this beauty, wondering how I could ever, ever earn enough money to buy it, let alone maintain it. Here I was, 64 going on 65, unemployed, looking for work, trying to figure out how to buy a car for a quarter of a million dollars.
I guess you always have to have dreams.