Haven’t read Part One? It was yesterday. Click here. Go on! It’s only 410 words or so – we’ll wait for you…
I cannot hear Mary over the rumbling thoroughness of the diesel engine. Her lips are moving, however.
I walk from the back end of the truck to the passenger window, which is now down.
“What?!” I yell.
“What kind of room do I have?”
I look to the back of the truck, try to calculate how far it is from the end of it to the next row of cars.
“Ummm,” I yell, squinting a bit, “about two, maybe two and a half basketball players?”
Mary nods grimly, looks down at the car next to her side of the truck. “Is that a Jaguar?” she yells.
I move toward it. “Yep.”
“Uff da,” she hollers. “I just gotta end up next to a Jaguar, don’t I?” She cranes her neck to see the car on the passenger side. “What is that? A Toyota?”
I move to the other side of the truck. “Yep,” I shout into the passenger window. “So if you’re going to hit anything,” I bellow, “You’re going to want to hit this one.”
“You ready?” I yell. “Let’s get out of here. Mah dogs are barkin’.”
“Are you any good at this?” she shouts. “Directing people out of tight spots?”
“Oh, ja,” I yell, nodding vigorously. “Four years in the service. Used to guide planes onto aircraft landing decks.”
Mary’s eyes go wide. “Did you really?”
I grin at her. “No,” I shout. “We’re probably going to ruin stuff.”
Mary laughs her devil-may-care laugh. “Gotta go home one way or t’other,” she says, channeling her inner- and outer-scamp. She tromps on the gas pedal VRRRR-OOOOM. VRRRR-OOOOOM.
I step to the back of the truck, hold both arms in the air. “Come back,” I shout, waving my warm in a come-hither manner. “Backbackbackbackbackback – STOP! STOP!!!”
Mary’s head pops out of the passenger window. “We okay?”
“No worries,” I yell. “Now crank it to the right.”
“WHAT?” I yell. “We’re facing the same direction! It’s both of our rights!”
Mary gives me a big thumbs-up sign. I watch as wheels the size of my first apartment move, glacier-like, over the snow-covered parking lot.
I blow warm air on my un-gloved hands. “OK!” I yell. “Now straighten it out! STRAIGHTEN IT OUT!”
The truck slowly straightens out. I watch as she misses a car by, oh, the length of a carton of eggs.
Hey. Clear is clear.
Mary pulls ahead as I run up to the passenger door. “We good?”
“Yep,” I say, hoisting myself into the passenger seat. “We’re better than good,” I say. “We are the serving class.”
“Dagnabit, Pearl,” Mary says grimly. “If we can’t get it done, ain’t nobody can.”
The 2004 Ford King Ranch Powerstroke Turbo Diesel, in sunnier times...