At the car wash
busy with trucks and SUVs
but few cars.
I spy a young HR lady
explains personnel things
to a few male employees
who look confidently confused.
They pay “up to” twelve dollars per hour
so says the help wanted sign.
It’s a hundred degrees Fahrenheit
again today, outside, at the car wash
for not enough dinero to live on.
A customer—tall skinny guy wearing
starched, ironed Wranglers with
a big wide belt holding up a bigger
shiny rodeo belt buckle, in
black cowboy boots
boasting bright diamond earrings,
under a big black felt
unairconditioned cowboy hat with
a long wallet jutting up from
his tight right back pocket
and chained to his belt,
and his big-ass cell phone in the other,
all in his stiff, creased, ironed
cowboy blue jeans while
Mansplaining to his nicely wigged
lady friend—he even told me when
my car was ready (it wasn’t)—she nodded and smiled—
people waiting for their clean and polished rides—
one rest (wash) room for all. With
a mercifully short waiting line,
I see no ‘young’ customers, but
one old man wore his ballooning
starched & ironed loud pink, long-sleeved shirt with
pearl buttons in this noisy, busy business
somewhere in the middle of Texas
where dressing to subculture
ignores realities like sun and heat
except for the guys making top
dollar, one every five minutes,
at the car wash. Plus, a tip from me
in my worn Phish tee and shorts, ball cap
and old gym shoes. My subculture.
At the car wash.
Look both ways at the car wash.
Take notes on the sights and write ‘em up: prose or poetry to get you through the day.
Mind the gaps unless you pay the upcharge for a greater job, done by hand, details.
If you’re unfamiliar with the mid-seventies song and movie, here is a youtube trailer version.