“Wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick?”
The quote was from a commercial jingle. I was watching a YouTube video of old car commercials from the 1950s and ‘60s, and that line was sung by a woman hawking Buicks. Those were the days when American cars ruled the roads and foreign cars, like Toyotas and Datsuns, were considered junk. The only foreign car worth a damn was the VW Bug and even that catered to a narrow demographic – the weirdo who gave a shit about gas mileage. At 27 cents a gallon nobody else cared how far a car went on a gallon of gas.
That’s what the old-timers from that era tell me, anyway. I’ve got a couple of them on my morning walk route. Sometimes I stop and listen to their stories. They love talking about the good old days.
I bring up the Buick TV ad because it reminded me of my latest encounter.
Living in a neighborhood of stand-alone houses and row houses (or “townhouses” if you prefer), you get a constant mix of people coming and going. It was from the townhouses that I ran into Bob (“Fucked by the Non-Com”) who has since moved out. We had several close encounters of the carnal kind, if you catch my drift. The fact that he had a girlfriend seemed to make no difference in his sexual appetites. She was the main course, naturally, but I was the dessert.
Seven townhouses down, a new couple moved in. She was an Uber driver and had a great big Suburban she used to shuttle people to and from the airport. I guess business was good because her other half, the subject of this story, did not appear to work for a living. Instead, he spent his days at the townhouse, occasionally leaving for hours on end but mostly cleaning and whatnot both inside and outside their unit. He was constantly working on a fountain with an attached fish pond. When he wasn’t doing that he was cleaning and waxing his car.
Best I can tell it was a 2008 Buick LeCrosse. I never was a fan of GM products and certainly not Buicks, which seemed to appeal to a much older crowd. But he had sported up his LeCrosse with a slightly lifted suspension, special wheels, and aftermarket mirrors. It was painted a menacing black and the windows were heavily (probably illegally) tinted. The back window was covered with stickers for surf shops and skateboards.
He was often outside working on that thing, and that’s what drew my attention, because when he did so he was usually clad in a wife beater and a pair of cargo shorts that nevertheless hugged his ass. What a fine ass it was, too, a perky little thing that always seemed to fill out whatever he was covering it with. He was a small guy, maybe 5-7, with dirty blond flyaway hair that hung down to his neck, usually held in place by a ball cap. He had some kind of fringe growing along his jawline, a turn-off for me, but the ass more than compensated. I’m guessing he was in the 25-28 year old range.
I had taken to spending late afternoons reading on the front porch, which I found to be a relaxing pastime. Work is stressful and after I escape the office, I need to decompress. A quiet session with a book does the trick.
Except it doesn’t when Jim – I later learned that was his name – was outside working on his Buick. On those days my head was craned, sucking in every detail of his body as he bent over the hood, wiping it down with a cloth, or doing something in the engine compartment. That sweet ass looked fine, stretching against the fabric of his cargos. I imagined all the stimulating things I could do with it, given the chance.
On the day in question I noticed he was spending a lot more time outside than usual, dividing it equally between his fish pond and his car. The front door to his townhouse had squeaky hinges, so every time I heard that metallic whine I looked up to spy on him. He was tossing objects into the pond – I got the impression they were food pellets of some kind – and just diddling around with his car.
I went inside to do something, I forget what, and when I came out he had vanished. So I flopped down in the lawn chair and resumed reading.
A few minutes later I heard the sound of shoes scraping on leaves and looked up. It was Jim, walking up my driveway. He was carrying a plastic bag from the nearby dollar store. “Hey, how are you?” he said as he walked onto the porch. “I’m Jim; I live across the street over there.” He pointed in the general direction of the Buick. As if I hadn’t noticed.
I got up and shook the hand he offered, telling him my name.
We chatted a moment and then he said, “They had this crazy sale at the dollar store and I ended up buying twice as many of these sugar cookies as I wanted, so I saw you out here and wondered if you’d like to split them with me. You don’t have to pay me or anything; they only cost a dollar. I just need to get rid of them.”
“Sure,” I said. “Come on inside.”
We headed for the kitchen. I didn’t have any beer so I offered him a Caffeine-Free Diet Coke, which he turned down. I have this cookie jar shaped like those eggs from the movie “Alien,” which Jim thought was way cool. He opened the cookie packaging and put half of the sugar cookies inside.
“Glad to see that thing didn’t jump out and grab my face,” he laughed.
We chitchatted a few more minutes. He seemed reluctant to leave and kept trying to prolong the conversation, which to my mind meant he was either bored shitless sitting over there alone all day, or maybe he wanted something else. As I replayed events of that afternoon, I became aware of how he had spent a more-than-significant amount of time doing menial chores that kept him out front and in my sight. I decided maybe he was fishing for more than just a brief conversation with a neighbor.
Finally, he said, “I hope you like those cookies. I could eat them all day. They’re my desert island food – well that and pizza, or a burger stacked with good stuff. What do you like to eat?”
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