Car Wash Boy
My "Trivial" Childhood Experience With A Car Wash Worker
I've been known by the majority of my acquaintances to be a bit dreamy, loopy and mildly psychotic and whenever accusations so offensive and insulting are directed at me, well...I usually feel forced to agree; however a recent experience I've had only caused me to question my already dubious sanity all that much further.
It was a regular day, when I was at home taking a load off from my already usually sedentary routine, when I happened to be randomly doodling, and the sketch I produced left me agog.
"Uhhhhhhh.....duhhhhh....omigosh, omigosh, omigosh!"
I couldn't stop staring. The portrait looked exactly like a car wash worker who had got into my father's car with me when I was 3, more than 35 years ago.
Yeah, I know, I clearly have no life, but I couldn't understand how this could be possible when I'd never consciously thought of this guy ever since. It's these types of phenomenons that make me wonder about the types of tricks our brains probably play on us sometimes that I didn't get. It's why this complete and utter stranger may have impacted me and my life more than I've ever realized that I didn't get. For an exasperating moment, I didn't even know what it was I didn't get that I didn't get. While it all could be entirely coincidental, part of me still couldn't help wondering.
To bore you even further, my memories of that day came flooding back in a torrent, overwhelming me with an unexplained sharpness and clarity:
It happened in my native Southern California, perhaps in or near Long Beach where my family and I then lived. The visits to the local car wash we frequented usually consisted of my parents, brother, sister and me and no anomalies had ever heretofore occurred, yet when for whatever reason, it was only my dad and me, that was when I met the guy.
I was 3 years old, strapped to my car seat in the right-hand front seat of the family car, a sky-blue Ford, as my father parked into the car wash and then stepped out I guess to speak to the employees outside, leaving the door on his side wide open; he was gone for probably a few minutes before one of the workers entered and sat in the driver's seat next to me.
The man had long limbs, a slender yet athletic build and a mop of golden curls that draped over his muscular bronzed shoulders nearly to his elbows in a heavy satiny swath. He wore a steely blue sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off, exposing dewy unblemished skin that somewhat resembled a pearly, pinkish-tangerine sunset. His face was as cute as a button.
The guy looked in my general direction but not directly at me, nor did he speak to me or physically touch me in any way. He casually held the wheel with one hand, giving the impression of being acutely aware of my existence yet somehow also very far away at the same time. The daylight played upon his rich, dense mass of bouncy, beachy, loopy waves. Turning them into a shimmering, cream-colored nimbus. Blessing his youthful muscles in an angelic glow. His entire aura seemed to carry an impossible, intriguing combination of both toughguy and choir boy.
The man sat there for a short eternity, still silent, with the door on his side still completely open. His dark brows were drawn, his equally dark, long, lush lashes lowered; he didn't look to be much more than a kid himself, likely not far out of high school or college. Although I'm certain he wasn't younger than 18, I'll be a monkey's third cousin if he was older than 25.
I continued to clock and size up the car wash boy, noticing that he was probably as tall as my father, perhaps 6'2". His lips, sullenly sloping downward, were naturally shapely, pouty and exceptionally red; in my opinion he seemed slightly troubled and was deeply contemplating. I was a bit confused as to what this elusive stranger wanted and why, nothing like this had ever happened before, and yet this amount of cuteness and boyish sultry sexiness was admittedly ridiculous. Had I known the concept, I would have called 911, as it simply had to be a crime to look this good.
Although I somehow knew with every fiber of my being that the guy meant me no harm, I was nevertheless 3, and unused to being isolated with a man I totally didn't know. It's why I began to panic when he finally shut the door on his side, turned on the ignition and drove the Ford forward a few paces.
I recall asserting to myself that I was a big girl now and no longer a baby (yay) and I had to admit in even my toddler's short span of existence that he was highly kissable, luscious, delicious eye candy where blond hunks are always concerned; however my inner defense mechanisms kicked in and the waterworks annoyingly took over anyway, and the golden hottie's whole demeanor changed. As tears slipped down my cheeks, he still didn't speak to or look at me but chuckled softly, grinning full wattage. His dazzling smile was tender, sympathetic. I could swear he even had dimples.
Despite my being angry that he wouldn't get out of the car despite seeing my obvious discomfiture, and my annoyance that no one had bothered to pre-warn me of this man's visit, the worker seemed to exude a vibe of not really wanting to leave. He remained very compassionate and was not at all inappropriate in any way.
To this day I can't help wondering what a man so incredibly good-looking and young could possibly be doing working at a car wash. Even more baffling, I marvel that whether or not he was aware of it, his beauty dropping into my world like a thoughtless careless blessing only seems all that much more random and appalling....even more so that it now has suddenly become so important to me. It indeed was probably the first time in my life that I found someone attractive. Barbie's friend Ken had absolutely nothing on this dude.
As I sat there involuntarily crying, I drank in the kid's classic, regally handsome looks, which were elegantly, distinctly Romanesque with a cherubic Irish cast. I thought he had the beauty of a Disney prince. From the waist up, he looked every bit like a little merman. On closer inspection, I found that he had the cheekbones of a superhero. His tumble of locks looked and smelled like fresh orchids. They dangled over his forehead and around his princely, dreamy features like laces framing a perfect, purely golden heart. He was a doll crafted out of diamonds.
This insanely gorgeous divo couldn't possibly be real. I gazed at this impossibly fetching, dashing head-to-foot dreamy individual, hoping his existence was a joke. He was probably the most conspicuously gorgeous creature I'd ever seen...mercy! He was hot. Whew! Gahhhh... (Babbling incoherently). Hubba hubba hubba. (Drenches myself in ice cold water).
Okay, I'm back. The time the heartthrob spent with me probably totaled 2 to 3 minutes before he went back out and spoke to my father, telling him in a soft, deep voice filled with warmth and concern, "Your daughter was crying."
Incidentally, I recall a rag dangling from the back pocket of his jeans, and the way his mane of ringlets hung down his chiseled back and caught the sun, transforming into a magnificent crown of platinum, creating an overall style that was successfully both messy and alluring. It was the last memory I have of the intriguing youth.
Far-fetched though I know it all sounds, I'm sure that this kid has always stalled in my dreams, leaving his permanent imprint on my heart, without either of us ever realizing it, and yet, I always get some intense vibe that he and I have always shared a strong, subliminal bond that nothing could ever quite sever. All I need to do is sit back and shut my eyes in order to see him quite vividly. Those big baby blues. Those to-die-for lips. As much of a looney tune I know I am for all this, I often still feel his proximity so thickly that time and distance seems to take a back burner; lately, although it might merely be imagination/wishful thinking, I've even had this unshakeable sense that this nameless boy had even strongly entertained the temptation of kidnapping me and driving away with me, rescuing me from my cruddy family...but then, for reasons known only to him, chickened out at the last minute.
This is only among many instances in my life in which I feel I've gained more satisfaction in knowing a stranger for a few minutes than I've had in knowing some folks for years. This exceptional young man appeared to emanate an innate sort of magic and electricity that has always irrevocably stuck with me. He was in an exotic class by itself, having always made my dark demoralized psyche chime with triumphant light. Whenever I feel especially down or distressed, I just fit back inside a 3-year-old body, imagining myself safe and happy all over again with my divine, towheaded, blue-eyed angel; to this day, I can't deny that each time I see another little blond cutie who closely resembles him, or some tall, strong, sexy, 50-plus zaddy who gives me an idea of how he may have turned out, I can't help getting a little emotional.
That said, I now know my meeting with this guy was no accident. To this day I feel a powerful, overwhelming spiritual connection with him I totally know for a fact that I am not imagining; it's why I now feel compelled to search for the car wash boy and thank him for being so kind to me at a time when I was vulnerable, where mostly everyone else ever since has been so cruel. If he somehow knew that I wanted and needed him in the car with me, even if only for that one precious flash of time, I also yearn, if ever given the opportunity, to ask him how he did; nonetheless, even though I know it's a long shot, the process of my quest in itself seems to give me a worthwhile sense of purpose that makes me stronger and better, whether I'm successful with my mission or not; yet, I somehow already believe that I'm already successful, that this jewel and I are already reunited. All I did was give my burdens to God and sense His promise that it's already taken care of. And it's what my heart has always told me anyway.
It's why I urge everyone to never give up on their dreams, no matter how crazy or impossible they seem. Being crazy is a lot more fun than being sane anyway. Not only have I discovered that I can achieve challenging, cerebral, mountain-like goals through small steps and thereby further strengthen and condition myself in the process, but also how much more successful I might be than I think and only how much more of a Poindexter-like dork I know I've made of myself because of it, however, if the car wash boy is reading this, I dedicate Angel by Madonna to you. Imagine I just hugged and kissed you, and stay gorgeous and awesome for me please...until the grown-up me can finally get to hug and kiss you for real.