Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – March 2, 2004
A Clean Car
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – March 2, 2004 – I have no idea why a clean car cheers me up. It doesn’t run faster, better, more efficiently or more reliably. But my attitude improves the moment I drive in to the line-up of The Executive Car Wash at the corner of Front and Parliament. I don’t even mind waiting my turn.
Cars go through at the rate of one every five minutes. I step out of my vehicle, accept my ticket and proceed down the corridor to the cashier, where I flip my Visa card onto the counter. Pleasantries are exchanged with the woman behind the counter. I gaze out the window separating the cashier’s area from the car wash track and recognize a young man who has been working here for as long as I’ve been bringing my car to this location – at least ten years. He is filling a spray bottle with liquid from a larger container. He then hooks it onto his overalls and heads toward my car.
My freshly minted grey car rolls past me to the drying area where six men descend upon it with clean, white cloths. I step outside and wait. Moments later I reclaim my chariot. It’s clean inside and out. The sun glints off the windshield as I drive out of the car wash. I feel so invigorated I could drive to Halifax, but settle for meeting a client at Yonge and St. Clair instead. I can’t resist, I steal a backward glance at my car as I walk up the sidewalk to my meeting. It’s sparkling clean, sitting there in the sunshine, waiting at my beck and call. I wonder why I go for weeks in the winter without having it washed?
I’m fortunate to own a wonderful vehicle. I drive to my meetings in safety and comfort. Perhaps that’s why a clean car is inspiring. It feels fresh and light and singularly uncluttered. It brings an appreciative smile to my face. All this from a trip to the car wash – I must go more often.
March 2nd – I’m remembering my brother today on his birthday – killed by a drunk driver on December 8, 1971.
Happy Birthday, brother!