Walking into the lobby of the hotel, burdened by an old man’s waspish resistance to the joys of the holiday spirit, I was irritated, perhaps, by the sight of the huge baubles on the tree and by the improbably shiny red car of distant vintage, showcased beside the tree.

Suddenly, something drew me to the car, but what? A jolt of adrenalin. What’s going on? Déjà vu, yes, but what? Why? I walk slowly around this American car, snapping photos. But why? A perfectly ordinary car, ’46 Mercury I’m guessing, displaced through time and space into a hotel lobby in Australia. And then incredulous, I feel a tear run down from my left eye that sometimes twitches.

Then: eight years old, running, exuberant!, running home from school, exultant!, running towards Christmas, exalted! The new car, today, Dad said today!

It was a Mercury Town Sedan, not red but dark forest green, huge it seemed to me, filling every inch of the garage, our first car, huge . . . it seemed to me.

Aparna, Shu, Peter, Ken and 5 others said thanks.

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David Wade Chambers

Born in Oklahoma: 30 years in US. 6 years in Canada, 40 years in Australia. Academic field: history and philosophy of science. Currently, teach indigenous studies online at Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM) and Brandon University (Manitoba). Come visit our B&B on Australia's Great Ocean Road. Mate's Rates for Hi community! (http://www.cimarron.com.au)

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