Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

The poet who washed cars by hand

2022 Writing Contest Winner: Fiction

She comes a-walkin’ down the street in flip-flops, not classy, I know, but still.
She comes a-walkin’ down the street in flip-flops, not classy, I know, but still.

I’m kinda glad to talk ‘bout this, Sarge, ‘bout Audrey and such. Spendin’ time talkin’ to a smart cop like you is good for an intellect like me. But ‘fore you go thinkin’ wrong stuff ‘bout what happened, let’s just talk. I mean, if that’s okay by you.

Well, first off, I gotta tell you ‘bout ol’ Josie. I always park her by the tree near George’s dumpster. It’s kinda hot here in the backcountry, you know that, and shade is real good for Josie. Yeah, she’s old — ‘84 Chevy wagon, sorta blue — nobody wants to steal her, nobody bothers her. And Josie’s kinda big, she can carry a lot of stuff. I guess you already know that Josie can carry stuff, huh, Sarge? I mean, if anybody’d walk by Josie, they’d never figure she done anything interestin’ in her whole life, but ol’ Josie’s got her virtues. She helps me out.

Author Deb Nordlie

The only problem with parkin’ her far away, under that tree like I say, is it’s hard on my leg. What I mean is I think smart people, classy people I mean, don’t even notice my walkin’. But parkin’ that far away, sheesh, it’s a hike, Sarge. I try not to limp, but people look — not stare, just look kinda fast then look away, like they don’t want me to see they’re lookin’, you know? Fact is, yesterday, before we was introduced, I was leavin’ work to go home and some lady walkin’ by in white shorts did that. She looked, but she was too classy to stare.

Well, here’s what you gotta know ‘bout me, here’s what I like, Sarge. I like classy things. Takin’ care of our earth is classy. I like classy ladies. Nice legs, classy shoes. My mom always said you could tell a lot ‘bout ladies from their shoes. When ladies go through the carwash where I work, I see their shoes. Some ladies look classy, but then they wear those flip-flops. Not classy. Some smarts, great legs, and white shorts is nothin’ if it ain’t classy. Gotta be the whole deal, right?

Somethin’ else ‘bout me? Well, the carwash. My work — my career, actually. George — you already talked to him ‘bout this, right? — well, he’s too cheap to get the carwash automated. So every car at George’s Suds and Scrub is “Hand-Scrubbed-We-Treat-Our-Cars-Like-They’re-Our-Own.” They get the treatment, yeah, but it sure wastes a ton of water, which’s not good for the environment. Not classy.

But scrubbin’ those cars gives me the chance to meet people and some of them is ladies. Ecology smart, great legs, good shoes...wait, wait, I already told you all that. See, I had time to think ‘bout this while I was waitin’ with Audrey. Now I can’t ‘member if I told it to you or told it to her, so stop me, Sarge, if you’ve heard it before. Or maybe that’s the idea? Have me make mistakes? Well, I’m smart, Sarge. I work at a carwash, but I’m smart. I think. I read. I like poetry. It’s important stuff. Whitman, Carver. Emily Dickinson. Bet she was a classy lady, huh?

Yeah, lots of ladies go through my car wash. Sometimes ladies stay in their cars; sometimes ladies get out of their cars. And I’m a pretty good judge of character, from all those years lookin’ into cars, meetin’ the public — bein’ the face of George’s Suds and Scrub, so to speak — so I can tell a lot ‘bout folks, ‘specially ladies, from how they treat their cars. Like, like, ‘bout a year ago, see? I meet this lady with great earrings — sparkly blue — and we had a talk ‘bout them. She tells me they was her birthstone. Did you know each month of the year gots a birthstone? Well, not me neither. She was wearin’ blue and those are for September, and get this! That’s my birthday month too! She had a great car. Clean too. See, workin’ for George has its perks. Meetin’ people, learnin’ new stuff. Me and that lady had a pretty good talk. She was classy. I like the ladies, classy ladies, but, no, I never’d go out so much before. Maybe ‘cause I’m shy.

And, well my leg too. I limp a little, did you notice? Right off, I gotta tell you I don’t have any disability or such. I’m a smart guy with a limp, that’s all. Everybody should understand that, and, well, if they don’t, it’s their problem, not mine, but me walkin’ puts some people off, and people can be just plain rude sometimes when they notice, even though I walk pretty good. Like, once, a Tundra — on vacation, I guess — pulled in. Maybe for a potty break for the wife and kids, might have been for the vendin’ machines probably, maybe just for a wash, I don’t know, but they all get out ‘cepting Dad. Kids are whiny brats. “Buy me this.” “Buy me that.” So, I go turn on the spray for washin’ and some kid, can’t even ‘member if it was a boy or girl, just some kid, says, “Mom, look at that guy. He teeters when he walks.” Yeah! Teeters!

So, his mom says, “Hush, honey. He can’t help it if he’s a cripple.” Well, I turned ‘round so fast, hose doused them good, ‘cause I was really steamed. First, I felt like I should stop wastin’ valuable water, but then I figure they deserve it, so I keep on sprayin’ ‘em. Mom screamed, kid yells, Dad gets out of the car to stop me or see George, I don’t know, but I keep sprayin’. It was hilarious! Like I said, I’m smart. I showed them they couldn’t talk like that in front of me, the face of George’s Suds and Scrub. I was steamed. I coulda lost my job, but I’m one of George’s best workers, always on time and such, and George and the other guys was laughin’ theirselves silly. Family just drives off. And with a half-scrubbed car too. Hilarious.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Well, truth is, George and the other guys aren’t my friends anymore. I was happy they laughed ‘bout what happened, right, laughin’ with me? They’re all nice enough guys, I guess, and there useta was a couple of guys from George’s I bowled with over at Suds and Bowl. You know the place? Well, I always thought it was hilarious to bowl at a place called Suds and Bowl, you know, because we work at the Suds and Scrub, and that’s Suds and Bowl, get it? I don’t know if the other guys did. They’re not any too smart. They’re not intellectuals like us. Not real thinkers like you and me, Sarge.

So, anywho, yeah, I useta go to the Suds and Bowl with the guys sometimes. Bowl a little. Drink some. And then one night, Enrique — you talk to him yet? — he works at George’s too, he invites us guys over for beers on Sunday. I tell him I’ll check my calendar. People don’t like it if you say you’re available right away, but I got back to him quick enough. I’m polite, Sarge. Respectful and such. So I go. Even wore my blue suit. Green tie. I was lookin’ classy, I can tell you, Sarge. Well, we was drinkin’ beers, lookin’ at the ladies at the pool, talkin’ ‘bout sports and work, but mostly ‘bout the ladies. Me myself? Oh no, I won’t kiss and tell and believe you me, that is the mark of a true gentleman, keepin’ your mouth shut. I mean, I could talk, you know, but why? It’s my secrets, right? It’s my personal secrets. They’d blabbermouth and that’s not classy — ‘ceptin’ telling you ‘bout Audrey. That’s okay, right? Anyways, ol’ Enrique goes inside then yells, “Hey, guys. Come watch the game on TV,” and the other guys go.

Well, now I had a problem, right? He says to come for beers, he didn’t invite me for the game, he said, “for beers.” If he wanted me to see the game, he’d say so, right? Maybe he give the invite to the other guys for the game but not me and it would be embarrassin’ to go in and then he had to kick me out. So I stay outside for a while, then get in Josie and, well, I just leave. And ol’ Josie don’t mind. Since then, Enrique and the boys don’t talk to me so much. Here’s what I figure. They’re jealous. I mean, I work full time, see, have a great car, won’t tell secrets ‘bout ladies. I got classy manners, also. I dress good too. I’m smart. Like I say, they’re jealous. I still see them; yeah, they sorta nod at me, but no more Suds and Bowl for us. But that’s ok.

Honest, Sarge, I mean, it gives me more time for my thinkin’ and readin’ ‘bout the environment. Ol’ Mother Earth. Well, it’d make the guys faint, I work so hard thinkin’ ‘bout very important things, and after a full day at George’s too. My work on helpin’ the environment and such? I didn’t tell you ‘bout that yet, did I? Sarge, you gotta hear this. It’s my skill, my gift. I think a lot. I’m coming up with solutions, as they say. And my readin’s helpin’ with comin’ up with good ideas, like, well, helpin’ Audrey be happy and such.

So, first, a regular day. Then after work, I close up George’s, drive home, and as Mom used to say, go to town on understandin’ things. Read and such. Oh, and ‘bout closin’ up at George’s. I want to be 130% truthful here. I’m not a liar. In fact, I hate liars. Sometimes at night, it’s hot at home and I got keys for George’s, so I come back and spend the night in the office with the AC on. But only on low; I don’t want to go ruinin’ the environment by wastin’ electricity and such. Save the planet and all that, right? I don’t booze it up or bring girls there, except, well, for Audrey once, and that was special. I just sleep or use the computer or work or do some important readin’.

Did I mention I read poetry?

Wait...here’s just what popped in my head, Sarge, now this very minute, another thing that makes me so darn special. Smart in the brain. Probably someone’d want to write a book ‘bout me, I’m so special. I like poetry, right? Well, I found this poem and I memorized it, ‘cause it sounds just like me. It says:

  • No one is superior to me,
  • I am Truth personified.
  • I am fixed in Sense control and Truthfulness.
  • I describe me in my original sense.
  • I realize my position
  • I realize the position of all I speak.
  • I am the true version of myself.

Yeah. Pretty good, huh? You want me to write it down for you? Later? There are other things ‘bout me you don’t know too, lots maybe, and I’m tryin’ to fill you in ‘bout me, the true version, you know? I mean, you need to know me to see why it happened. You’re a smart guy too, like me. You understand things, Sarge.

Sheesh, I’m kinda thirsty all of a sudden. Can I have some water? Please? I wanna keep explainin’, tellin’ the whole truth, like that poetry guy said. Show truthfulness, right, Sarge? That’s what we’re here for, right?

So, well, the truth. Last Tuesday, this young lady, Audrey was her name — you know that, I guess — she comes a-walkin’ down the street in flip-flops, not classy, I know, but still. No car though, just her backpack and her, a little thing, and she stopped off at George’s. Well, she was all sweaty with her hair stickin’ on her forehead and such, so I end up buyin’ her a Coke, a real gentlemanly thing to do, right? Well, we start up a-talkin’ and me and her hit it off right away. See, we gets a-talkin’ ‘bout poetry and the earth and readin’ books an’ ’fore you know it, she’s tellin’ me she run away from her folks and is hoppin’ ‘round the good ol’ U. S of A. sleepin’ on the streets. Well, she was a kid, Sarge, maybe sixteen, seventeen, and I felt bad, ‘specially since I have it all, a soft life, actually, car, home, great job and such, and well, I just couldn’t let her go back out there. There are some real crazies out there, right? So, then I did a dumb thing. I asks her if she wants to come home with me.

Yeah, I know. I know, Sarge, I know.

Well, we hike on over to Josie, and she never even talked on my limp, but did say she thought Josie was pretty cool. She appreciated ol’ Josie, I think. That’s pretty classy, you know? She patted Josie like a puppy and, well, ‘cause I’ma gentleman, I invite her home, like I said. I realize my position and such. I like to help others. Now, wait, Sarge. Don’t go thinkin’ like that. No funny business. Just shower, sleep, leave whenever. When she’s ready.

I was real excited to have some company up to the house and show off to such a classy lady, cook us up some supper. I don’t have too many visitors at home, if you want to know the whole truth, so I was feelin’ kinda good. We was drivin’ along, windows down and jabberin’ ‘bout different poets and such, she even said she likes Emily Dickinson too, and I was talkin’ all ‘bout George and Josie and my career at the carwash and I told her that poem too. I could see she really liked me. I was thinkin’ there might be, well, be a future with her, and, well, before long, we was at my Home Sweet Home.

Right away, I saw things wasn’t right.

Yeah, she said Josie was cool and all that, but she was awful quiet when we gets to my house. She gives the house a real quick look-see and smiles. “So, you live — here?”

Yeah, that’s what she said!

Well, we walks in, and I offer her some H2O — that’s water, Sarge, case you didn’t know, —‘cause I could see she was still thirsty. She looks the place over, even run her finger over some furniture. for Pete’s sake, asks if she can have a bath, then askin’ for Comet before she hits the tub. I told her to watch the water, we gotta save the environment, and, and she laughed! Yeah! Laughed. Not classy. I mean here I was, helpin’ this kid, and she wasn’t even that cute, Sarge, well, maybe you couldn’t tell by the time you found her, I don’t know, but she had some nerve. I mean, really, bad manners, right?

I told her I’d be outside while she cleans up, I’m a gentleman, right? I said that, right? I give her forty minutes or so to clean up and such and when I come back in the house, she was still in the tub, water still runnin’! Now is that a good or bad houseguest, I ask you? I knock on the bathroom door, ask her to finish up, and I did say please, Sarge, I did, and what did she say? “Leave me alone. Go back to your stupid carwash.”

Yeah, she said that.

Well, that got me to thinkin’. That poet guy said no one is superior to me. Yeah, that’s what he said, and remember, I’m a thinker, Sarge. I’m a thinkin’ kind of guy. A thinker. So, I started thinkin’. Was she lyin’? ‘Bout Josie, I mean? ‘Bout likin’ me? An’ maybe she made up ‘bout how she likes poetry and her worry ‘bout the earth and such. I hate liars, Sarge, an’ I was gettin’ steamed, I gotta tell you. She’s in my house, she thinks she can talk to me like that? Sheesh. I was pretty steamed, I gotta tell you.

So, after sixty-five God-blessed minutes, she comes outta the bathroom in a towel, Sarge, and says, “Not enough hot water, Fred.” Well, that did it. No class. You’re a smart guy, Sarge. You see, right? You get it, right?

Well, that poet guy said it, “I am Truth Personified,” remember that? Here’s the Truth, Sarge. Here’s how it went.

I pull her back into the bathroom, pull her under the soapy water, and after she stopped screamin’ and wrestlin’ with me and was kinda flat under that wasted water in my tub, I had one of my greatest ideas yet. I’m a real thinker, remember? Well, since she loved water, I’d give her water all right. Be helpful, right? First another ride in ol’ Josie to George’s for us. It was dark, o’ course, after hours. Took me some time to unscrew the carwash drain. Good thing she was so little, Sarge, ‘cause I didn’t have to bend her too much to get her into her new Home Sweet Home. I even sat with her awhile; don’t want her to feel deserted, you know?

Oh, don’t feel bad, Sarge. I mean, we both want her happy and such, right? I aim to please, at least, my mom always said that ‘bout me. I’m a good boy, I realize my position and such. I wanna make things right. You understand now, right, Sarge? You get it? Are we still pals?

But can I have another drink? Sheesh, I’m turnin’ into a fish all of a sudden.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Watching the world go by in El Cajon

Intersection of Mollison and Broadway provides a peek at humanity
Next Article

Lakeside fire water failure

What do you mean you ran out of water? My house is on fire!
She comes a-walkin’ down the street in flip-flops, not classy, I know, but still.
She comes a-walkin’ down the street in flip-flops, not classy, I know, but still.

I’m kinda glad to talk ‘bout this, Sarge, ‘bout Audrey and such. Spendin’ time talkin’ to a smart cop like you is good for an intellect like me. But ‘fore you go thinkin’ wrong stuff ‘bout what happened, let’s just talk. I mean, if that’s okay by you.

Well, first off, I gotta tell you ‘bout ol’ Josie. I always park her by the tree near George’s dumpster. It’s kinda hot here in the backcountry, you know that, and shade is real good for Josie. Yeah, she’s old — ‘84 Chevy wagon, sorta blue — nobody wants to steal her, nobody bothers her. And Josie’s kinda big, she can carry a lot of stuff. I guess you already know that Josie can carry stuff, huh, Sarge? I mean, if anybody’d walk by Josie, they’d never figure she done anything interestin’ in her whole life, but ol’ Josie’s got her virtues. She helps me out.

Author Deb Nordlie

The only problem with parkin’ her far away, under that tree like I say, is it’s hard on my leg. What I mean is I think smart people, classy people I mean, don’t even notice my walkin’. But parkin’ that far away, sheesh, it’s a hike, Sarge. I try not to limp, but people look — not stare, just look kinda fast then look away, like they don’t want me to see they’re lookin’, you know? Fact is, yesterday, before we was introduced, I was leavin’ work to go home and some lady walkin’ by in white shorts did that. She looked, but she was too classy to stare.

Well, here’s what you gotta know ‘bout me, here’s what I like, Sarge. I like classy things. Takin’ care of our earth is classy. I like classy ladies. Nice legs, classy shoes. My mom always said you could tell a lot ‘bout ladies from their shoes. When ladies go through the carwash where I work, I see their shoes. Some ladies look classy, but then they wear those flip-flops. Not classy. Some smarts, great legs, and white shorts is nothin’ if it ain’t classy. Gotta be the whole deal, right?

Somethin’ else ‘bout me? Well, the carwash. My work — my career, actually. George — you already talked to him ‘bout this, right? — well, he’s too cheap to get the carwash automated. So every car at George’s Suds and Scrub is “Hand-Scrubbed-We-Treat-Our-Cars-Like-They’re-Our-Own.” They get the treatment, yeah, but it sure wastes a ton of water, which’s not good for the environment. Not classy.

But scrubbin’ those cars gives me the chance to meet people and some of them is ladies. Ecology smart, great legs, good shoes...wait, wait, I already told you all that. See, I had time to think ‘bout this while I was waitin’ with Audrey. Now I can’t ‘member if I told it to you or told it to her, so stop me, Sarge, if you’ve heard it before. Or maybe that’s the idea? Have me make mistakes? Well, I’m smart, Sarge. I work at a carwash, but I’m smart. I think. I read. I like poetry. It’s important stuff. Whitman, Carver. Emily Dickinson. Bet she was a classy lady, huh?

Yeah, lots of ladies go through my car wash. Sometimes ladies stay in their cars; sometimes ladies get out of their cars. And I’m a pretty good judge of character, from all those years lookin’ into cars, meetin’ the public — bein’ the face of George’s Suds and Scrub, so to speak — so I can tell a lot ‘bout folks, ‘specially ladies, from how they treat their cars. Like, like, ‘bout a year ago, see? I meet this lady with great earrings — sparkly blue — and we had a talk ‘bout them. She tells me they was her birthstone. Did you know each month of the year gots a birthstone? Well, not me neither. She was wearin’ blue and those are for September, and get this! That’s my birthday month too! She had a great car. Clean too. See, workin’ for George has its perks. Meetin’ people, learnin’ new stuff. Me and that lady had a pretty good talk. She was classy. I like the ladies, classy ladies, but, no, I never’d go out so much before. Maybe ‘cause I’m shy.

And, well my leg too. I limp a little, did you notice? Right off, I gotta tell you I don’t have any disability or such. I’m a smart guy with a limp, that’s all. Everybody should understand that, and, well, if they don’t, it’s their problem, not mine, but me walkin’ puts some people off, and people can be just plain rude sometimes when they notice, even though I walk pretty good. Like, once, a Tundra — on vacation, I guess — pulled in. Maybe for a potty break for the wife and kids, might have been for the vendin’ machines probably, maybe just for a wash, I don’t know, but they all get out ‘cepting Dad. Kids are whiny brats. “Buy me this.” “Buy me that.” So, I go turn on the spray for washin’ and some kid, can’t even ‘member if it was a boy or girl, just some kid, says, “Mom, look at that guy. He teeters when he walks.” Yeah! Teeters!

So, his mom says, “Hush, honey. He can’t help it if he’s a cripple.” Well, I turned ‘round so fast, hose doused them good, ‘cause I was really steamed. First, I felt like I should stop wastin’ valuable water, but then I figure they deserve it, so I keep on sprayin’ ‘em. Mom screamed, kid yells, Dad gets out of the car to stop me or see George, I don’t know, but I keep sprayin’. It was hilarious! Like I said, I’m smart. I showed them they couldn’t talk like that in front of me, the face of George’s Suds and Scrub. I was steamed. I coulda lost my job, but I’m one of George’s best workers, always on time and such, and George and the other guys was laughin’ theirselves silly. Family just drives off. And with a half-scrubbed car too. Hilarious.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Well, truth is, George and the other guys aren’t my friends anymore. I was happy they laughed ‘bout what happened, right, laughin’ with me? They’re all nice enough guys, I guess, and there useta was a couple of guys from George’s I bowled with over at Suds and Bowl. You know the place? Well, I always thought it was hilarious to bowl at a place called Suds and Bowl, you know, because we work at the Suds and Scrub, and that’s Suds and Bowl, get it? I don’t know if the other guys did. They’re not any too smart. They’re not intellectuals like us. Not real thinkers like you and me, Sarge.

So, anywho, yeah, I useta go to the Suds and Bowl with the guys sometimes. Bowl a little. Drink some. And then one night, Enrique — you talk to him yet? — he works at George’s too, he invites us guys over for beers on Sunday. I tell him I’ll check my calendar. People don’t like it if you say you’re available right away, but I got back to him quick enough. I’m polite, Sarge. Respectful and such. So I go. Even wore my blue suit. Green tie. I was lookin’ classy, I can tell you, Sarge. Well, we was drinkin’ beers, lookin’ at the ladies at the pool, talkin’ ‘bout sports and work, but mostly ‘bout the ladies. Me myself? Oh no, I won’t kiss and tell and believe you me, that is the mark of a true gentleman, keepin’ your mouth shut. I mean, I could talk, you know, but why? It’s my secrets, right? It’s my personal secrets. They’d blabbermouth and that’s not classy — ‘ceptin’ telling you ‘bout Audrey. That’s okay, right? Anyways, ol’ Enrique goes inside then yells, “Hey, guys. Come watch the game on TV,” and the other guys go.

Well, now I had a problem, right? He says to come for beers, he didn’t invite me for the game, he said, “for beers.” If he wanted me to see the game, he’d say so, right? Maybe he give the invite to the other guys for the game but not me and it would be embarrassin’ to go in and then he had to kick me out. So I stay outside for a while, then get in Josie and, well, I just leave. And ol’ Josie don’t mind. Since then, Enrique and the boys don’t talk to me so much. Here’s what I figure. They’re jealous. I mean, I work full time, see, have a great car, won’t tell secrets ‘bout ladies. I got classy manners, also. I dress good too. I’m smart. Like I say, they’re jealous. I still see them; yeah, they sorta nod at me, but no more Suds and Bowl for us. But that’s ok.

Honest, Sarge, I mean, it gives me more time for my thinkin’ and readin’ ‘bout the environment. Ol’ Mother Earth. Well, it’d make the guys faint, I work so hard thinkin’ ‘bout very important things, and after a full day at George’s too. My work on helpin’ the environment and such? I didn’t tell you ‘bout that yet, did I? Sarge, you gotta hear this. It’s my skill, my gift. I think a lot. I’m coming up with solutions, as they say. And my readin’s helpin’ with comin’ up with good ideas, like, well, helpin’ Audrey be happy and such.

So, first, a regular day. Then after work, I close up George’s, drive home, and as Mom used to say, go to town on understandin’ things. Read and such. Oh, and ‘bout closin’ up at George’s. I want to be 130% truthful here. I’m not a liar. In fact, I hate liars. Sometimes at night, it’s hot at home and I got keys for George’s, so I come back and spend the night in the office with the AC on. But only on low; I don’t want to go ruinin’ the environment by wastin’ electricity and such. Save the planet and all that, right? I don’t booze it up or bring girls there, except, well, for Audrey once, and that was special. I just sleep or use the computer or work or do some important readin’.

Did I mention I read poetry?

Wait...here’s just what popped in my head, Sarge, now this very minute, another thing that makes me so darn special. Smart in the brain. Probably someone’d want to write a book ‘bout me, I’m so special. I like poetry, right? Well, I found this poem and I memorized it, ‘cause it sounds just like me. It says:

  • No one is superior to me,
  • I am Truth personified.
  • I am fixed in Sense control and Truthfulness.
  • I describe me in my original sense.
  • I realize my position
  • I realize the position of all I speak.
  • I am the true version of myself.

Yeah. Pretty good, huh? You want me to write it down for you? Later? There are other things ‘bout me you don’t know too, lots maybe, and I’m tryin’ to fill you in ‘bout me, the true version, you know? I mean, you need to know me to see why it happened. You’re a smart guy too, like me. You understand things, Sarge.

Sheesh, I’m kinda thirsty all of a sudden. Can I have some water? Please? I wanna keep explainin’, tellin’ the whole truth, like that poetry guy said. Show truthfulness, right, Sarge? That’s what we’re here for, right?

So, well, the truth. Last Tuesday, this young lady, Audrey was her name — you know that, I guess — she comes a-walkin’ down the street in flip-flops, not classy, I know, but still. No car though, just her backpack and her, a little thing, and she stopped off at George’s. Well, she was all sweaty with her hair stickin’ on her forehead and such, so I end up buyin’ her a Coke, a real gentlemanly thing to do, right? Well, we start up a-talkin’ and me and her hit it off right away. See, we gets a-talkin’ ‘bout poetry and the earth and readin’ books an’ ’fore you know it, she’s tellin’ me she run away from her folks and is hoppin’ ‘round the good ol’ U. S of A. sleepin’ on the streets. Well, she was a kid, Sarge, maybe sixteen, seventeen, and I felt bad, ‘specially since I have it all, a soft life, actually, car, home, great job and such, and well, I just couldn’t let her go back out there. There are some real crazies out there, right? So, then I did a dumb thing. I asks her if she wants to come home with me.

Yeah, I know. I know, Sarge, I know.

Well, we hike on over to Josie, and she never even talked on my limp, but did say she thought Josie was pretty cool. She appreciated ol’ Josie, I think. That’s pretty classy, you know? She patted Josie like a puppy and, well, ‘cause I’ma gentleman, I invite her home, like I said. I realize my position and such. I like to help others. Now, wait, Sarge. Don’t go thinkin’ like that. No funny business. Just shower, sleep, leave whenever. When she’s ready.

I was real excited to have some company up to the house and show off to such a classy lady, cook us up some supper. I don’t have too many visitors at home, if you want to know the whole truth, so I was feelin’ kinda good. We was drivin’ along, windows down and jabberin’ ‘bout different poets and such, she even said she likes Emily Dickinson too, and I was talkin’ all ‘bout George and Josie and my career at the carwash and I told her that poem too. I could see she really liked me. I was thinkin’ there might be, well, be a future with her, and, well, before long, we was at my Home Sweet Home.

Right away, I saw things wasn’t right.

Yeah, she said Josie was cool and all that, but she was awful quiet when we gets to my house. She gives the house a real quick look-see and smiles. “So, you live — here?”

Yeah, that’s what she said!

Well, we walks in, and I offer her some H2O — that’s water, Sarge, case you didn’t know, —‘cause I could see she was still thirsty. She looks the place over, even run her finger over some furniture. for Pete’s sake, asks if she can have a bath, then askin’ for Comet before she hits the tub. I told her to watch the water, we gotta save the environment, and, and she laughed! Yeah! Laughed. Not classy. I mean here I was, helpin’ this kid, and she wasn’t even that cute, Sarge, well, maybe you couldn’t tell by the time you found her, I don’t know, but she had some nerve. I mean, really, bad manners, right?

I told her I’d be outside while she cleans up, I’m a gentleman, right? I said that, right? I give her forty minutes or so to clean up and such and when I come back in the house, she was still in the tub, water still runnin’! Now is that a good or bad houseguest, I ask you? I knock on the bathroom door, ask her to finish up, and I did say please, Sarge, I did, and what did she say? “Leave me alone. Go back to your stupid carwash.”

Yeah, she said that.

Well, that got me to thinkin’. That poet guy said no one is superior to me. Yeah, that’s what he said, and remember, I’m a thinker, Sarge. I’m a thinkin’ kind of guy. A thinker. So, I started thinkin’. Was she lyin’? ‘Bout Josie, I mean? ‘Bout likin’ me? An’ maybe she made up ‘bout how she likes poetry and her worry ‘bout the earth and such. I hate liars, Sarge, an’ I was gettin’ steamed, I gotta tell you. She’s in my house, she thinks she can talk to me like that? Sheesh. I was pretty steamed, I gotta tell you.

So, after sixty-five God-blessed minutes, she comes outta the bathroom in a towel, Sarge, and says, “Not enough hot water, Fred.” Well, that did it. No class. You’re a smart guy, Sarge. You see, right? You get it, right?

Well, that poet guy said it, “I am Truth Personified,” remember that? Here’s the Truth, Sarge. Here’s how it went.

I pull her back into the bathroom, pull her under the soapy water, and after she stopped screamin’ and wrestlin’ with me and was kinda flat under that wasted water in my tub, I had one of my greatest ideas yet. I’m a real thinker, remember? Well, since she loved water, I’d give her water all right. Be helpful, right? First another ride in ol’ Josie to George’s for us. It was dark, o’ course, after hours. Took me some time to unscrew the carwash drain. Good thing she was so little, Sarge, ‘cause I didn’t have to bend her too much to get her into her new Home Sweet Home. I even sat with her awhile; don’t want her to feel deserted, you know?

Oh, don’t feel bad, Sarge. I mean, we both want her happy and such, right? I aim to please, at least, my mom always said that ‘bout me. I’m a good boy, I realize my position and such. I wanna make things right. You understand now, right, Sarge? You get it? Are we still pals?

But can I have another drink? Sheesh, I’m turnin’ into a fish all of a sudden.

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Older wheelchair wheels cause of MTS crossing death?

Sometimes you can't beat the trolley
Next Article

Looking to the bright lights of Mainly Mozart

The two concerts at the Conrad are going to be special occasions
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.