I only saw it once, parked all by itself in an auxiliary parking lot at the Chicago Botanic Garden: a Volvo P1800, my dream car, the first car I ever owned, though mine had seen hard use—an engine salvaged from a 144, a coat of white paint that was neither original nor glossy, but more of an eggshell matte. Nothing at all like this car, which was pristine: rehabbed and repainted, done with love and attention to detail. I stopped our van, hopped out and took a few photos. Why not? It was beautiful.
That was a few years ago. Three or four. What is surprising is that now, whenever I pass the spot where the P1800 had been, as I do a few dozen times a year after visiting the garden, I give it the briefest glance of inquiry and longing, as if I expect the P1800 might somehow be there. Of course I do. The heart is a lonely hunter, but not very bright, and it returns , the poor dumb beast, to where it has found success, even when there is little hope of success. I never saw the car again. But it could be there, someday. Why not? It was there once..