passenger window to the unknown.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
there was a ritualistic quality to the semi-occasional saturday morning with the senior treadway. traveling from georgetown (my home) to lexington (his) there was the fill-up at the broadway car wash. the old man preferred premium in his muscle cars. that meant a discount on the wash. i'd pump, he's pick-up loose change, discarded paper and such before we proceeded to the 2 yahoos who vacuumed out the car. i plainly remember the sensation of mistrust as these guys took the keys to the chevy. there was a mysticism about the old man and his cars, always gm, always 10 or so years old, always bright, always fast, always a diversion from reality...by that last thing, i mean, he spent more time fucking with chrome valve covers and gear ratios than he did tending to his relationships and responsibilities. sometimes he seemed to get more from cars than he could ever get from another human. this carwash had seen the '64 GTO, the '64 Vette, the '66 Malibu, the '67 El Camino, the '69 Judge, '71 Nova, '74 Laguna...you get the point, the man liked his heavy metal. i guess that is what warranted the mistrust in my gut when it came to him handing over the keys, his cars were something about him that i knew, cuz i just didn't know that much about this man. between vietnam, a return to college, numerous wives and girlfriends i wasn't that much of priority, weekends--maybe on a good month three of them--on a bad month one or none, i would be there, with him. i learned about cars while learning a little about him i guess if you are looking for a positive and i learned the 'importance' of a clean car. phrases like 'if the engine is clean you can see any fluid leakage when it occurs and know where it's coming from' and 'keeping the interior new looking is only going to help keep the car's value, nobody wants to replace an interior' are still lodged in my head from repeated aural exposure. so mistrust in the pit of my gut, we'd disappear into the car wash building, he to pay, me to watch the car, through the window as it was washed by the mechanical barrage of heavy blue cloth and spinning brushes. the slow, methodical dropping of soap, the chain-driven levers, armatures, and pulleys would go from exciting to boring as the weeks, months and years past...eventually, i'd just be happy to collect a stack of chick tracts near the pepsi machine to enjoy on the ride home. that boredom with car washes lasted while the lessons learned didn't. i don't give two shits if my car is dirty, i hate being a grease monkey even though some might argue that i times i am a decent one. the old man, he is still alive, we just don't share life...not that we really ever did i guess. we had an understanding, sort of like his cars had with the broadway car wash...there on weekends, knowing only the exterior for the most part with an occasional polishing swipe at the interior...i hope i ain't that sort of father, ever.
car wash thoughts. Canon GIII, QL17. Kodak Ultra 400.
Please pick up and Opium Magazine. I'm in there for a page or two...and that is the least of its greatness.
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