Logan's Baby

Logan looked at the key to the warehouse locker and sighed. It was time for a decision - a decision he had put off too many times over the past couple of years, a decision he hoped he would never have to make. The finality of it chilled him. It was the last thing he had wanted to sell because of what it represented. He still had not depleted his art collection; he could still wait. He put the key in his jacket pocket, picked up his car keys, and headed out the door. One more time.. He had to see it one more time, he thought as he rode the elevator down to the garage.

*****

He drove slowly across town, manipulating the manual controls of the Aztek, his unfeeling feet resting on the floor beside the disabled pedals. It wasn't like he hated Bessie - by no means. It was a good, reliable car, after all - but it was so. boring, middle-aged, whatever. Once again, he sighed.

*****

Near the waterfront, Logan reached his destination, an old warehouse divided into storage spaces. Thankful for the exoskeleton, he got out of the Aztek and walked around the warehouse to a side entrance.

He took the key out of his pocket and fingered it, then walked over to a large storage locker. He slipped the key into the heavy-duty lock and snapped it open. The door to the locker creaked and groaned from disuse as he pulled it outward.

Logan looked down at the contents of the locker before pulling the cover off of it. Then he stood there, staring at his baby - a classic, silver Porsche Targa Carrera in cherry condition. The car he had lovingly restored and lovingly driven until the day he'd been shot. The car he couldn't bear to trade in for the handicapped-accessible Aztek. The car he always hoped he'd be able to drive again. The car he knew he wouldn't.

He unlocked the car door and opened it. Even with the exoskeleton, he could barely get into the Porsche; he could no longer fold and bend his body into that position easily. While he could lift his legs, his numb feet could not feel the pedals; he could not tell how hard he was pushing them. And he didn't think that would ever change. It was time to let go.

But he had to have one last drive, so he put the key in the ignition, put one unfeeling foot on the clutch pedal, and turned over the engine. The Porsche purred to life. Tentatively, he put it in gear and pushed his foot down on the accelerator. With a lurch, the car took off, out of the locker and into the warehouse. Logan carefully lifted his foot off the accelerator a little, experimenting until he could smoothly accelerate. He drove the Porsche slowly out the warehouse door and onto the blacktop. One last spin around the parking lot.

Five minutes later, he was ready to put the car back into storage. He was sweating from the effort and felt a headache building; his shoulder muscles were knotted with tension. It took far too much concentration to drive the Porsche, even at 25 miles per hour; he would never be able to drive it safely in Seattle or on the highway. Sadly, he drove it back into the locker and parked it.

Logan struggled out of the car, feeling almost like the first time he had attempted a transfer from the wheelchair to the sofa. With no feeling in his legs and feet, he nearly lost his balance when he stood up. He closed the door, pulled the tarp over the car, and locked it in the storage locker once more. Leaning against the heavy metal door, he whispered, "Goodbye, baby," then walked away.

*****

He got back into the Aztek and drove home. Tomorrow, he thought, tomorrow he would call the newspaper and place the FOR SALE ad. He would be able to live pretty well for a long time on the proceeds the Porsche would bring.

The End