“And THAT is exactly why I hate this job so much,” said Chet, walking up to sit beside me. I was perched on the car hood, looking slightly down at him while he dusted his hands off.
“Gross?” I asked.
“Yeah gross, what’d ya think? Car smelled like a forgotten daycare in Florida. Christalmighty…” Chet had the tendency to exaggerate. Though to his credit, he may not have been far off in this case.
“Hey man, where else can we get paid to smoke on a Friday night?” I asked.
“I dunno, a bar? And can you really call this ‘being paid’?” he shot back.
“Relax. Tonight’s hardly work. And a bar, really? Remember when you and I just got to high school last week?”
Chet and I had been friends since we were little. We took the job at the Country Club Delor as a means to get paid for being screw offs. Most days we landscaped this or ran concessions for that, but every Friday in the summer saw us on parking detail together. Sure there were other employees that could have done it, but most avoided the extra shift like a plague solely because of the clientele.
During the week, most of the patrons were 30-40 something men and their sons golfing lazy afternoons away. Some would even get drunk enough to tip us well despite the fact that Chet and I never caddied.
Yet on Friday nights, the adjoining hall to the club would be overrun by the town’s eldest and bluest for dancing. With the hosted dance, the Club Delor offered “complimentary valet” to its guests. The “guests” were comprised of too many Crown Victoria’s with mock-tops piloted by drivers who could scarcely crest over the wheel. Folks too excited to shuffle and scoot on the dance floor, yet oblivious to tipping like the road they terrorized behind them. As if that wasn’t enough to dodge the Friday night sentence, the cars typically smelled awful — something that never failed to appall Chet.
“What…does their sense of smell go TOO? How can you get dressed that fancy and not realize you smell like a wet litter box?” grumbled Chet, hopping on to the car. “Got anything?”
“Yeah,” I laughed, and lit a joint I stole from brother’s sock drawer. He had parked the last car for the dance, it having rolled in much later than the others. I had watched moments ago as Chet took their keys in mild agitation; the driver taking a good 60 seconds to right himself to his feet. Another minute passed while he “escorted” his wife out of the passenger side. She wore a flowered hat that seemed to hunch her over even further.
All of the cars were now parked, their semi-coherent owners inside for the duration of the night, leaving Chet and I to wax adolescently atop the trunk of my own car. Usually, we had a solid three hours to bullshit before a small but steady stream of septuagenarians trickled out.
“Your brother know you swiped this?” asked Chet through clenched lungs.
“ffffffffProbably, soon enough. But so what? He can’t remember what the hell he has anyway. Not like he’s gonna tell my parents.”
“Hmm. True. So, shit man, we’re freshman this year. Kind of crazy, right?” mused Chet.
“It is man, it is. Feels like… like we made it. Sort of,” I said.
“Yeah, I mean, we still have four years ahead of us. But now, there’s girls. And parties. Football games, and and…”
“More shit we can get thrown out of?” I asked, laughing. Chet took the joint, laughing. Ne nodded, raising his eyebrows in quick defeat. “Yeah, that too,” he exhaled. “Shit. We are kinda sad, huh? Sitting here on your parents’ car, the first Friday night of the school year, SPLITTING a joint while we wait for a buncha blue-hairs to get tired and drive home…”
“Eh, could be worse. My parents trusted me to drive here tonite — that was kinda cool.”
“Yeahhhh, but you’ve taken the car before,” said Chet.
“….You could be IN there rubbing up on some old bag,” I offered. To my surprise, Chet lit up.
“Yeah! Take ‘er in the back seat of her brown Le Sabre, get to the core of the mothball negligé…” he started.
“Alright. Got it.”
“…start fogging up the windows, get that stench of Fixadent and menthols rolling…”
“…undo the Depends straps, oh so gently…”
“OK! I get it. ‘Things could always be worse’! Jeez… Never can just tell the story, gotta take the person “there”.”
“I like what I do,” Chet said proudly.
The creak of the big oak doors to front of the hall made the two of us look up. Chet instinctively palmed the joint. It was too early for the dance to be over but we watched as a couple stepped out for air. Why they didn’t go to the back deck was beyond us as that overlooked a large pond. The old man took two steps out, looking right and left, leaning towards the parking lot. Chet and I were at the far end of the lot. While clearly under a lamppost, highlit by bugs, smoke and yellow light, the man evidently still could not see us. Stepping back his two paces, the man proceeded to lift the back of his wife’s dress and clumsily unbuckle his own pants.
Chet let out a noise that sounded as if someone strangled a whoopie-cushion. I tried to look away. We both did. Still it kept happening. And happening. Perhaps because we were both stoned the old man seemed to be out with his wife for hours. In reality, it was only about five minutes. As the old man wrapped up, his wife shook her dress back down and adjusted her hat. He held her hand and turned her towards the door. As he did this, he turned back looking directly in line with where we sat.
“…he lookin’ at us? No… shit, do you think he sees us?” The old man stared for several moments.
“Aw man, we just watched him and his old lady get randy and now he knows!” I lamented.
Chet still mystified, “Yeah but it’s not like we enjoyed seeing it…seriously, what the hell was…”
Then the old man took another step forward. We couldn’t see his face but watched as he raised a thumbs up. A smile broke Chets agape mouth. “Huh.”
“Yeah, gross. But also, what do we say when we get his car?”