Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cul de Sac Crazy IV - Being 60 (week 40 - by Margaret Ullrich)

Alrighty... on January 30 at 5:00 pm we last saw that neighbor B's buddy had wedged his car perpendicularly between A's white car and B's green truck in the cul de sac, while B was shoveling snow onto the little circle in the middle of the cul.

Both cars' hoods were up.
The friend was trying to boost some life into A's white car.
After sitting there for three months, it was going to take a while.
No surprise B needed his buddy's battery.
No point B trying to use his truck for the breath of life.
He always had the motor running for an hour before it could move.
It was always on some form of life support.


It was dark and cold that night.
With the windchill, it felt like -37.

Working outdoors at night wasn't at all unusual for B.
B always kept what folks in the cul called 'Vampire Hours'.
No matter the weather, no matter the darkness, B was outdoors after the sun went down.

You got it.
In the summer, when we were enjoying long, long Manitoba days, B would wait until about midnight to mow his lawn.
After dark, when he wasn't mowing, he would pace the space between our houses and yell on his cell phone.
For some reason he never understood he didn't need to yell.
He also never understood that neighbors who worked 9 to 5, slept 10 to 6.
Really, he never understood.
Folks gave up explaining.
They just shut their windows and cranked up their air conditioners.


Back to January 30...
It was going to take a few hours to revive the white car.
After shoveling snow onto the little circle, B shoveled a path to his front door.
Then, at 9:00 pm, with his buddy guiding him, B backed his truck against his front door.
No shrubs were run over.
The white car was still in a coma.
The friend decided to stay the night.

Paul and I went to bed.
We didn't expect miracles.


On January 31, at 6:30 am, we awoke to the sound of a truck being bitch-slapped.

It wasn't the gentle sound of snow being brushed off the hood.
The poor thing was being slapped, much as one would slap a torture victim back to consciousness.

After he had beaten the truck enough to get its attention, B started his motor.
We didn't get our hopes up.
We also noticed that both cars were gone from the cul.
We didn't know or care what had happened to them.


The motor ran for most of the morning while B tossed garbage bags into the shotgun seat.


Then, at 11:05 am, B got into the driver's seat, and went tearing off the front lawn.
He hung a sharp left to the entrance, then a right and roared north.
The sun came out.

We still didn't get our hopes up.
I mean, he'd driven away before.
Oh, we checked.
The white car was resting quietly on the uncleared carport.


It's been a week.
B hasn't been back.
The cul has a new look without the white car and truck blocking 
The air is cleaner.
Really cleaner since we haven't had a truck's motor running.
Our bathroom vent is right over where he had been wedging his truck.
No exhaust fumes in the bathroom.


Ah.

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