Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Nice Car, Bondo.
As I rounded the corner, I saw it parked there, in front of her house. The color of a swimming pool bottom, your beloved mustang; her state of disrepair being responsible for your moniker. 1967, if I recall correctly? Or that is what year she would be, if you had one today. This much I know for certain. There you were, perched on the hood; leaned back against the windshield and eating a soft-serve ice cream cone from The Igloo Drive In. The new guy in my proverbial small town.

The latest disposable of hers. I didn't like you. You were cocky and arrogant, with your lifeguard's mentality and physique; the one I admired but would die before admitting to. Breezing in, with your fast car and your DJ's music collection; the new cop's kid. Upsetting the balance that was in place. Distracting her, when she had the only set of wheels amongst us and our only distraction was cruising main street.

She tossed us the keys, told us to have fun. Balance restored. The 'bad girl' who had breezed into town before you and stayed. She had other plans. Plans that included you, temporarily. A couple weeks later it was done. She passed you off as better suited to someone else. That someone else she named as me. I scoffed, didn't want her leftovers.

Summer saw us employed at the gas station, which became the local hangout, for our group. You became something other than that guy with the car. I was intrigued. A trip to Essie's after work, with Brian and Char coming to fetch us and bring us home. Steamy windows in the backseat as we kissed.

We dated. We became an item. Six months later you walked into the kitchen as I was making lunch for my Dad. You told me you wanted to see other people. I turned, knife in hand, and calmly asked if we could do this later. Maintained my composure.

The next six months I moped, driving my Mom crazy. Telling her I was just dumped by the only guy I would ever love. The guy I was supposed to marry. Maudlin. Juvenile. Teen aged angst. I finally got over it, and you. Life went on.

Sometimes life was hard. Sometimes I made it harder. Sometimes the decisions I made had my family questioning my sanity. Sometimes I didn't so much as make decisions, but watched indecision run my life.

Laundry beckoned. This single mom, at the Laundromat, washing clothes for the week. Weary. My kid, playing in the play area.

There you were. Blue eyes, smiling. Tentative conversation, not too much to say. Asking the usual questions of each other, expecting the usual responses. Both on the tail end of involved.

Laundry became the highlight instead of the tedium. Good days were measured by the times that I chose the right day. Unless she was there with you, then it was awkward. The number of times she happened to be there trickled to none.

I got brave and called you. Made small talk and then said goodbye. You got brave and called me back fifteen minutes later. We went out that night, my parents happened to have the boy. I happened to stay overnight. We did the morning-after dance, neither wanting too much of anything; or at least saying so.

We became 'friends'. We haven't been apart since. Nearly twenty years have passed since that ice cream cone, and now you make tentative plans about what kind of car to restore with our teenaged son. The one you call your own and have raised as such.

I love you more today, Bondo.

*Steen asked a very long time ago about The Leester and I, for some history. This is my version of those events. His would probably go something like this: I dunno, lemme ask Dee.*

**Am very good at answering inquiries in a timely and orderly fashion.**


Blogger Attention Whore said...

OMG - I am sitting at my desk literally weeping and I've had to close the door lest they think I've finally lost it completely.
That was the sweetest story ever. I knew it, but the way you wrote it was just so....CHEESE WHIZ lady- what have you done to me? I'm a phoquing GIRL all of a sudden.

Give Leester a big smooch for me. He deserves it.

I love you more today too Bondo.

Blogger steen said...

Awwww, that is such an awesome story!

Anonymous h said...

That is THE sweetest thing, Dee. I kinda <3 Lee even more now!!!

Blogger Carrisa said...

Ok I suck for not reading this sooner... but that story was awesome. Congrats on being in love.

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