Is it Spring Yet?
Some people name their cars.
Car 42 came with a name.
He was up on an auction block in 1984, when a friend of Sven’s friend, first saw him.
I don’t know what that guy paid for him, but Sven managed to bring that slightly used Plymouth Volare home to us for four hundred dollars, cash.
And he was worth every penny, even though his interior was a plain blue-gray vinyl and all scratched up.
“Probably from the guys holster,” Sven said, pointing to the driver’s seat.
His exterior was a dark and sinister blue.
The passengers in the back seat couldn’t open their doors from the inside.
The glove box contained a notepad of unwritten parking tickets.
Which we promptly issued to friends, neighbors and strangers.
That is how I know that nobody pays their parking tickets.
It all started with that mole.
You see, a little time had elapsed since my last check up.
You know how it goes.
You get a letter from your doctor and you and set it aside and you think, “Yeah I’ll call her later.”
And then you get another letter from your doctor.
This one says something about being overdue for a mammogram.
So you put it in your purse so that you will be sure to call the number tomorrow over your lunch break.
And then you get another letter about that other procedure.
So you put it with your other letters in your purse.
And more letters keep on arriving.
So you decide that on your day off, which is next Friday, you will call that number and you will set everything up.
And then the next month another letter is delivered.
And you think, “Shit. I have GOT to give them a call.”
“What’s that?” I said to Sven, walking in the kitchen door.
There was an opened card on the island next to his dusty lunch box.
“It’s an invitation for an open house.”
“An open house?”
“Yeah, it’s from the Smith’s. It’s for all the contractors and their wives.”
“Oh. Are we going?” I’d said, reading the invite that said something about 4:00 and wine and cheese.
“If you want to,” he says.
“They’re real nice. They’re both psychiatrists you know.”
“Yes. I know,” I answered.
Sven had told me that they were both psychiatrists about a thousand times.
I think it’s gonna be all right.
Yes, the worst is over now.
The morning sun is shining like a red rubber ball.
Remember that song?
It was by the Cyrkle.
I was doing the dishes with my brother, Calvin. I was washing and he was drying. Only he wasn’t drying. He was too busy snapping me with his towel.
And we were singing along with The Cyrkle.
But we knew the words.
I was sitting on a chair holding a coffee cup the size of a thimble.
It was filled with black gold.
I took another sip.
My ears began to ring.
“Would you like some more?” she says to me in her thick Portuguese accent, long shiny black hair, dark eyes and bright white smile. She was holding a beautiful porcelain coffee pot in her hands.
“No, thank you,” I stammered.
I covered my doll house cup and saucer, containing what I later learned to be, espresso.
One Friday evening, not so long ago, Sven decided to change a light bulb.
It was the one on the fan in our bedroom.
The one that is next to the skylight, way up there on the cathedral ceiling.
Therefore he brought a ladder upstairs to do his handy work.
“Do not take that away,” I said.
One should never let an opportunity such as a ladder in one’s bedroom slip away.
There were four of us, my sweet Sven, Burt, Claudette and myself, staring into the yellow, orange and blue flames.
A car came down the road.
It pulled onto the grass out front and stopped.
A door shut in the distance.
“Hi,” says Jack rustling through the leaves behind us.
We turned around.
“What’s going on?”
He pulled up a metal lawn chair and opened a beer.
And then there were five of us staring into the yellow, orange and blue flames.
One Sunday, back when I was in sixth grade, I hopped on my bike and I pedaled my way to school.
It was located at the top of a very long and steep hill.
What I didn’t know until that day was that our school was not at the top of a very long and steep hill. Our school was at the top of just one of a series of long and steep hills, on a road that never really ends.
But I’d never had a reason to go beyond the building that held all those teachers who taught me how to sound out the words in the fun filled adventures of Dick and Jane.
How to add and subtract.
How to multiply.
And, well, they did their best with division.
Until that Sunday.
And now, will the third place winner, please step forward?”
Something went wrong out there in the universe when all those particles that were less than tiny were spinning and twirling and swirling around. Because at the end of it all, my dog came out of his mother’s womb, a cross between a German Shepard, an Italian opera singer, a storm chaser, a yellow lab, Mark Spitz, Rin Tin Tin, an ostrich and a chow.
So, it is not his fault that he is annoying.
He can’t help it.
As his human mother, I am very proud to say that he does not waste any of his God given talent.
He is a prodigy.
I, as his nurturer, understand why he spends so much time pacing around the house practicing his earth shattering, booming notes. If he could only get on a stage where he belongs, he would absolutely bring the house down with all his bellering.
He’d be famous.
A world renown opera singer.
A super star.
Move over Pavarotti.
Remember the operator on Laugh-In?
Back in my mother’s day that was how you made a call.
You went through Lilly at the switchboard.
My earliest recollection of a phone was a square, black, rotary one, sitting on a stand.
To make a call you had to pick up the mouth piece very quietly in case the neighbors were on the line. And you could only answer it if it was your special ring.
But the future came flying in fast.
By the time I was in fourth grade we weren’t on a party line.
By middle school the curly cord had grown to six feet.
By the time I was out skipping class and shopping for my homecoming dress there were super cool slim lined phones, with push buttons. And they came in all kinds of colors, including turquoise.
But even those fancy designer phones didn’t cut it.
They were too restricting for the modern times.