They Don't Make 'Em Like That Anymore
Sometimes snippets pop into my head. Pieces of stories that I don’t really want to tell. However, I only have so much room in my giant noggin, and have to get these (rough) snippets out to make room for new ones. So, I occasionally type them up and foist them upon you unsuspecting blog readers.
He stood, straightening his coat, outside of the posh west side restaurant, when he saw it approach.
It was a 1978 Cadillac Seville. Two tone black and gray. Immaculate condition. The street lights reflected off the polished spoked rims.
He almost drooled as the car pulled in, slowly, and came to a stop directly in front of him.
Some would tell you that they preferred the “Elegante” model that began production the next year, but he was most definitely not one of them.
Much to his pleasure, the engine sounded as good as the rest of it looked.
He couldn’t help but smile at the little old lady behind the wheel.
She didn’t notice.
He ran to the driver’s door and opened it for her. He was immediately hit in the face by the smell of her perfume. As his eyes watered, he flashed back to his own grandmother. She wore the same, or a very similar, perfume. It was the kind that smelled like a strong soap and left an unpleasant taste in your mouth, and a coating on your tongue.
It was by Avon, if he remembered correctly, and called “Charisma.”
He tried to decide if it was more embarrassing that he remembered the name of his grandmother’s perfume at all, or the fact that he remembered it because “charisma” was one of the attributes of Dungeons & Dragons characters.
He pushed both thoughts out of his mind.
“Ma’am, can I give you a hand?”
“Yes, please.” She said in a strong voice, very much belying her tiny stature.
She took his hand and gingerly swung her legs out of the car.
He got his first look at her face. Too many years in the sun had given her the visage of one of those apple dolls. Brown. Wrinkled. But, mostly pleasant.
And her eyes were sharp. Shiny, even.
“I have a bad leg,” she offered, but not apologetically.
He let her use him for support as she got to her feet and steadied herself.
Her right hand immediately shot to her head, as if making sure that her hair was still perfectly coiffed.
Next she checked her outfit.
Not a wrinkle.
She nodded at him. More of a “I’m ready now” than a “Thank you,” to be sure.
He smiled again.
She reached back into the car to get her cane. Even it looked polished and perfect.
As soon as the cane touched the ground, he knew to let go of her arm.
She began to slowly, but steadily, make her way around the front of the car. Even while using a cane, her shoulders were back and her head was up high.
He couldn’t stop staring at this proud woman. He wondered what she had done as a career. He figured school teacher. And a strict one.
He thought about children of her own that she may have raised. Grandchildren too. He knew that none of them got away with any shit. For any reason. Like, ever.
The doorman tipped his hat and smiled wide at her when she arrived at the door. She gave him a nod and continued in.
He slid in behind the wheel of her car, moving her seat back as he did.
He smiled again. He hoped that he himself would have such independence, and strength, when he was well into his eighties.
He close the door and put the car into gear.
He then pulled quickly out of the parking lot, onto the mostly empty city street, and began removing his fake valet’s jacket as he steered the car towards his favourite cross town chop shop.