When I inherited the family’s green Ford Maverick, I was determined to make the best of it. Bought Jensen speakers that I installed in the back. Bought seat covers, floor mats. I hung an air freshener from the rear view mirror. And I waxed it on the weekends.
Even though no amount of polish was going to make this car NOT an ugly green maverick, I was determined to make it shine. And discovered what a chamois was, to dry the car. Also figured out that it’s better to NOT put Armor All on the dashboard, or it will crack.
Was rubbing the Turtle Wax in slow circles, while studying how the green paint picked up sparkles in the sunlight. Used the paste wax, because the guy at Pep Boys said it was better than the liquid. I liked the smooth feel as I buffed the top of the car. Not another soul around, could hear some kids playing further down the street or the next block over. But that was it, was just me and my car.
I stepped in the gutter accidentally, and got soapy water on my bare feet. Stood on the warm pavement, looking over my handiwork. It was still the ugliest car you’ve ever seen. Was mine, though. And I smiled, and wiped my forehead. Threw the rags and things into a bucket and walked up the brick steps into the house. The sponge was grandma’s, and I had to put it back where I found it. A real sponge, one that used to grow in the ocean.
That thing lasted forever, but I would catch heck if it ever went missing. Grandma was in her chair, reading the paper. “Did you do your homework yet?” she asked.
“No, but it’s not due for three more days.”
“Better get to it, no excuses.” she said. “There’s some lunchmeat in the frigerator if you want to make a sandwich.”
I went out the sliding door and put the bucket on the patio, and the sponge back to its spot on a tray. I jumped to touch the fiberglass roof, and slapped the beam with my palm. Went inside.
“Ask your sister if she wants a sandwich, too.” Grandma said, and she snapped her paper back up without waiting for any reply.