Jim’s Car

Rory Hawkins

Whoever said a dog is a man’s best friend must’ve never owned a car to be proud of.

Dogs: they’re disobedient, dirty, always beg for attention, make the kids cry when you have to put it down for running out onto the road and getting hit by–

Well, by a car.

But not by this car. No, Jim Badewicz keeps his silver beauty under lock, key, and dustsheet, only lets it out on weekends for a polish and slow Sunday drive, solo after church. Maybe for a date-night now and again too, keep the wife happy. She still needs to warm to the idea. She doesn’t get that life’s a drive, the smoother the better. Doesn’t matter where they are, where they’re going, late mortgage and credit payments: it’s about how it all needs to look and feel.

Dinner guests from work love it. Want to see?

That old company Commodore, sir?

Jim shakes his head, smiling to himself. A saunter from half-empty plates to the garage.

An Aston Martin DB5. Imported, naturally.

This isn’t the matchbox little James played with curb-side. Now he has the real thing for a real man, with all the trimmings. Chrome wire wheels, full leather cabin trim, magnesium-alloy body built to superleggera patent technique. The Poms got one thing spot on and right now it’s humming in Jim Badewicz’s driveway for you to see.

He gets in, flexes his hands across the steering wheel.

Wait– Aston Martin? Like, James Bond Aston Martin?

Why, yes. Charmed for you to notice.

You know, in the rear-view Jim might have that Bond look about him too. Still has the jawline, sharp raisable brows, but did any of them have such a high widow’s peak? He tweaks the mirror: gut might do well cutting back the country club Coronas. And where did these bloody wrinkles come from? Well, there’s been as many Bonds too, hasn’t there? That Craig bloke’s gotta be round the same age, right?

The wife comes out: dessert’s on the table.

Wow, Mr Badewicz, we didn’t know you’re into all that.

He’s not, the wife says. He’s forty-nine with kids.

Author: Rory Hawkins is an English/Irish-grown & Meanjin/Brisbane-based Creative Writing student in his third year, who aspires to work in editing and publishing so he can tell other people how to write better than him. As a 2022 Shortlister for the Allen & Unwin prize, with prose and poetry in QUT’s Glass magazine, previous issues of ScratchThat, read aloud with QUT Lit Salon, and occasionally on his Instagram @rory_writes_sometimes, his work is clearly just the best. Which is his opinion. Which is a fact. That he says.

Artist: Irene Liao is a visual art student from Taiwan who aims to present figurative human art through her watercolour pieces.

Editors: Kelly Rouzbehi and Euri Glenn