December 11, 2004

Dear Mr. Bush,

Janice said goodbye to her truck today. It was her first car she bought herself; her first chance to be truly free from her hometown. It traveled across the country with her more times than she can probably remember, carrying all her possessions and her energetic puppy--forced to sit in the back in a nest made from sleeping bags and blankets--from one locale to another. It moved with her to towns so small they're not on maps and to cities so large they take up their own page in the atlas. It drove with her away from heartbreaks and helped her to start new lives; eventually it brought her to me. It was the first place we kissed, suddenly and passionately during a strange mid-winter fog. It moved her from apartment to apartment here in Chicago and it helped to move us into the home we now share together, the home we're slowly readying for our tiny, growing son. And it's because of our son--and because it was twelve years old and showing every one of its hundred and twenty-four thousand miles--that we traded it in today for a new car. If we are lucky, we will carve our memories into this new car the same way the dreams and adventures and lives of a young woman were etched into every inch of that beautiful black truck. May it find a new owner to whom the same world of opportunities opens, because behind the wheel of a truck anything is possible.

To the memories of old things and the promise of new,



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