Thursday, February 7, 2013

Les

Seen exiting the Brown Line to Kimball at about 8:30 a.m.

“Oh, Les! It’s wonderful!” That’s what they all say when he gently runs his sponge over their careworn bodies. All winter they are treated harshly—abused, really. The streets go unplowed, and those that race next to each other splash dirty slush onto each other’s sides. The wheels of the one in front send a fine spray of gray muck onto the windshield of the one behind. And the road salt! That’s the worst part. It coats their surfaces in a layer of rock-hard grime that scratches against their paint. By February they are unrecognizable, transformed into cold, calcified beasts. You’d never guess there’s a hot, revving engine beneath their hoods.

And what do they do about it, those miserable creatures who dare to call themselves owners? Nothing! Owners are supposed to care about their investments, especially such expensive ones. Instead they focus on anything else as the filth builds and builds. Then they get angry when Les tries to help! He can see rage-twisted races through foggy windows, furious at his intervention. Some even slam their fists down on the steering wheel like toddlers in a tantrum, causing their cars to screech in pain.

None of it fazes Les. All the appreciation he needs comes from the vehicles. After he’s finished rinsing them, their wipers dance with glee, and their bright headlights wink with gratitude.

Book group was great last night. We read Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad--well, I read the last story and the first two stories. But I'm looking forward to reading the rest! It's awesome so far. I'd recommend it. Next we're reading Adam Levin's Hot Pink, which I've read before. But it'll be nice to revisit it. So many books! So little time.

Jane, who organizes the book group, is a dictionary editor, and she just had her first blog post published on Dictionary.com! You should read it.  

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