it’s a good thing i had my rain coat. i don’t normally have it within arm’s length, but it sprinkled last night and as i was leaving for the car wash at lunch time i glanced at it hanging on my cubicle wall and helen told me to bring it — just in case. it was still cloudy outside.
i brought my rain coat and my book, because i didn’t know how long i’d have to wait in line. two and a half car washes, that’s how long. i was a third through with the wind-up bird and tuesday’s women when it was finally my turn, so i drove in, slowly.
now, when i was a little girl, i used to hate car washes. big hate. we were driving right through a jungle of giant bristles on a dark and stormy night and our car was under attack. i’d shut my eyes and cry hysterically and just want it to be over.
so i drove in, slowly, until the light at the end of the tunnel turned red and i stepped on my breaks and opened up my book and started to read some more. i didn’t get very far, this time, because i was interrupted by a splash.
a what? a splash.
shit, i said, and before i could say it again a rush of water came spilling down on me from above. it took a second for me to figure out that it was coming from the sun roof, which was not, apparently, shut.
shit, shit, shit, i muttered, and i threw my damp book to the side and grabbed my jacket and threw it over my head like a parachute. it didn’t help.
the water kept dripping down, past my rain slicker shield and onto the seat and my head and my shirt and my jeans. i took my sweatshirt and began to wipe the seat dry but that, too, was pointless. i was just smearing everything wet.
all i could do was wait for the wash cycle to end and laugh.
the light turned green. i pulled out of the driveway, rolled down the window and felt the breeze on my drenched clothes.