Of Carwashes And Fairy Godmothers

Washed BB for only the second time in five years earlier this week. Dad used to say at his reluctance of car washes that it was only the dirt that was holding things together so I’ve gone with that. Gospel. He also just didn’t want to spend the money. Gospel twice. Said to one of the kids, of two, headphones squashing wild hair outside the exit with rags in hand, “All good on the wipe down dude, I’m just gonna go” and he smiled head bouncing little bounces to not out loud tunes, until I handed him a five spot. Cans off mid bounce … “Thanks”. It doesn’t sound like much I know, but I think it was commensurate with a six dollar car wash and it gave him and his pal a break of unnecessary rags with a still tip in hand.

“Holy crap, that’s what folks in my rearview look like?”

I only went through and splurged on the six bucks, yes splurged, with ya Dad (the fiver simply being what you do having surely been there done that) because I actually had a cash dollar in my wallet for the tip, not just “credit or debit?” and because I really no longer knew what cars in my rearview looked like. Really.

Plus, I wanted to get back to the house with a clean back window to apply the Pirates decal that had arrived in the mail at the station earlier in the day. Maybe they’ll get their shit/greed together so I can finally have a pitchers and catchers mental Spring soon but, until then, at least I’ll be prepared. Are there things that are more important? Of course. Are there things that are more important? No. Back windows and Pirate decals are huge. Gotta compete with annoying stick figure families somehow (though stick figure cats and dogs are pretty cute).

I had gotten an email notification while at work from that big place that sometimes goes into space to prove that size and the dollars that made it possible are uselessly meaningful in rich bald minds that a package had arrived. I was excited. My important back window had been lacking for so long of a new Pirates decal and I was feeling Christmas, or Valentines as it is around that time of year and you know I heart my Buccos.

When I went downstairs and checked the mailbox though, there wasn’t just a package from the bigger space dick, there was also a card along with all the magazines to not be read in the station’s empty waiting area. A red one. Christmas/Valentines indeed, even though no one sends cards anymore, to my mother’s diminishing sighs, but there was a one with my name on it, in the prettiest of hand written pen you ever will see. Some I’ve heard tell call it cursive but that’s close enough to make you think curses. Who uses language like that?!! So rude. Let’s ban it!!

I layed it down next to my keyboard to remind me to take it home like that one elementary school Valentine you held on to hoping it might be the one. Jenny? Really? Could it?

I like surprises and the anticipation of them, though I guess that partially defeats the purpose, but still I waited until I got home to my furry girls to open it.

It was ice cream! A gift card to the DQ! I love ice cream, like, who doesn’t love ice cream (unless you’re a weirdo living in your weirdo not liking ice cream weirdo kinda world) and it was enough ice cream to be TWO ice creams!

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I have this group of friends, I call them my Mikey Six. Friends who call you back or actually don’t call you back but always have really good reasons for not doing so, so it’s alright, that I run stuff by without getting summarily dismissed and one of them has a Mom, Momma Piper, who cursives really well in her cursives or curses really well in her seeming cursing of cursives, or whatever, so confusing, who has designated herself my fairy godmother.

I’ve never had a fairy godmother. Ok, there was that one time at WVU where l wasn’t aware that the brownies weren’t your run of the mill brownies and that girl was soooo pretty … and purple … and had wings … and tried to eat my face and … no, not a fairy godmother at all. She was mean.

I have now though an actual fairy godmother. A one who’s not flying face eating mean purple and who sends me ice cream, in cards that no one sends anymore, red ones, like Christmas Valentines, like the Jenny that didn’t happen (apparently the card I held off to open until I got home wasn’t from her, it was just from Billy at the desk next to mine ’cause he thought it was funny – not funny Billy, not funny at all) but I’ll take it.

Hearts and Santa’s and spoons for a sundae, or two, to that.

Picture

Picture

My sis recently posted a new found picture of her and I and Dad, vintage 70’s, along with Grandma and Grandpa, the English ones, on a trip for them to see, first hand, exactly what their daughter had gotten herself into, two kids into the real and with a guy and his silly name, only so much so many hand written letters back and forth across far long waters with cool looking international postage stamps were going to do without the seeing and meeting of the actual.

A picture of a couch wannabe paisley’s gone awry, a glass topped coffee table, as could there be any other, one with an ashtray and a cigarette on hold and a toy truck in the same shot and a too big center piece that made no sense and just got in the way … always … as nonsensical center pieces seemed to have only that one job.

I rocked black socks and sneaks here, waaaay before fashion called it new cool and surely was just short black socked steps away from annoying the shit out of proper English Grandma, causing her to no doubt question her daughter’s decisions before a “Cheese”.

But Dad? This new found picture that English cousin Elizabeth came across is the first pic I’ve seen where I can put myself now and Dad then on a somewhat equal plane as I am comfortable with my current existence, as he seems here, even though I’m a few years older than he was in this shot, in his early 40’s.

You see, Dad was always old to me, not in a bad way of course, but he always just seemed to have years.

There are numerous pictures of him when he was younger, a good looking guy, even with that spot of gray always evident that would eventually take control of his whole head, he was certainly a guy who could catch an eye, and would catch an English one in our case, in a small Diner in Yorktown Heights, New York, courtesy of some machinations from his best of friend, Uncle Frank, but even those pictures, of his young, hold an old for me.

Here though he seems confident, secure, old looking but not one to worry of what that proper English Grandma might question of her daughter and her place with him. There’s a Steph (Stephen) and a Beck (Rebecca) and there would be a soon Nick (Dominic) and an always ugly couch in an our spot. A good ugly spot. He looks like he knows this was his, that he earned it or maybe I’m just projecting that into this new found picture as I know that that was the case.

His job at Social Security eventually wore him down for being too human in a place that asked him not to be, plus he wasn’t the teacher he wanted from that not quite degree put on hold, on hold, a great regret, oh to teach history, and then the cancer and this after being worn down earlier in life as the second man of the house for his younger brothers and sisters to help make ends meet along with Grandad who needed the assist to bring home some dollars comfort to Grandma and he was spent.

It’s difficult to not picture him in my mind carrying that tired but here, with a new found picture, years before those travails, Dad seems to know he was doing the Dad thing well or at least I imagine he thought so and was proud of it. He was doing the only thing that really mattered to him, no matter what may have been weighing, he was with his family, including a son who really was probably just minutes away from annoying the shit out of Grandma.

Something about pictures and thousands of words right Dad?

Picture

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An old girlfriend years ago tried to give me a pig tail (s) once Beck, just for the silly of it, an almost early man bun kinda thing, like those black socks ahead of time, but for some reason I couldn’t pull them off like you. Whodathunk? Damn your cute!!

Freakin’ flimsy rubber bands.