"Am I wrong? Have I run too far to get home?" -Alice in Chains, "Would?"

No Disassemble

Mason O'Hara

It’s 6:30 p.m., Saturday night. The sun set about an hour ago. It’s dark, 45 degrees outside, and Mason is lying in the driveway, installing the new car radio antenna his grandpa bought him for Christmas.

I can’t help but remember all the hours Andy, Jeff and I spent wiring things into my cars. My Mustang didn’t have any rear speakers until I bought a set of Jensen 6x9s from Walmart. For the backseat of my Firebird we built a lopsided speaker box using the wrong type of wood to hold two used speakers I bought from the flea market.

Jeff was the electronics wizard and Andy, a master of power tools. By the time I had a real job and was driving my Ford Festiva, we had installed a stereo so loud that, with the volume turned halfway up, the roof of the car vibrated violently and the three of us watched a crack in the windshield grow in real time. We thought it was hilarious and awesome. To make room for even more speakers, we got rid of the backseat.

Mason doesn’t have those friends, not yet. Instead, he has YouTube. He types “how to remove the stereo from a 2001 Toyota Celica” and some guy shows him how to do it in 90 seconds. I walk outside a couple of times to check on the progress. The most help I’m able to provide is dragging a lamp out and pointing it in his direction.

As I’m sure my parents worried about me, I worry he won’t be able to get the car put back together, or at least not exactly how it was. But I always did, and so did Mason. Half an hour later he comes in, wanting to show everyone his new car antenna that goes up and down.

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