Stacked like a sardine in a collection of Matchbox and Hot Wheels Cars – caught in the crush of a child’s pile of autos distinctive for their yesteryear look of cool designs, flashy decals and hip hubcaps – is THAT ONE different car.
If it had a life, it remembers the day it rolled off the assembly line.
Its chassis and red body weren’t as classy; its grill was more of a grin; and its tinted windows not so tinted. As to its engine, it was timed to a different tune.
This became apparent on the race track of life.
An Olds 4-4-2 with its 400 cubic inch, four-barrel carburetor and dual exhausts sneered and snarled as it pulled up alongside that red car before effortlessly pulling away.
That curious red car was lapped again and again as the Oldsmobile and its muscle car comrades battled it out.
But it refused to give up. It would show them; it would prove it belonged on the track. It gritted its grill; it pushed the pedal to the metal.
And then it happened.
In trying to be like the other racers, it slipped into a four-wheel drift and crashed through a barricade.
Its tires smoking, its engine screaming, its bolts and rivets straining, it finally came to an inglorious stop on the track’s infield in a cloud of dust and grass.
Taking quick inventory – all of the essential parts seemed to be accounted for (those that could be seen) – the car glanced into its rear view mirror and stared back at the splintered hole through which it had just come.
Round and round in seemingly endless circles the other cars careened around the gray track. That special car glimpsed just flashes of color and sound as the other cars fought to earn the victor’s trophy, soon enough to be a dust collector.
No one paid the out-of-this-race car any mind.
A bit dented and dirty, the red car smiled because it knew that it was free.
Free to be different.
Free to take the road less traveled.
Free to explore and discover and be who it was meant to be.
Free to jumpstart a child’s imagination before the race of life takes the green flag.