We all have something in our life that takes us back to a time when things seemed simpler. The smell of a fresh baked apple pie. The feel of sunlight on skin. The sound of kids at play in the park. For some of us, those memories are the only things in our lives that bring us joy, make us feel happy, young, and invincible again.
The Ranchero is this to many many men.
And one of them works at the Executive Car Wash.
While I waited behind the glass of the car wash lobby for The Darkness to set upon the industrial dryer, I watched the art of Chamois Man. His lythe ponytail seemed light as air, flitting from one shoulder to the next like a big hairy butterfly. It did not betray the sadness of the Chamois Man, whose skin was much thinner, I would find out, than the delicate, though durable hyde of his chamois.
I turned my back but for a moment, and missed something--a spark! My imagination has set to work on conjuring the moment up in my mind's eye, but I don't think even the greatest Irish poets working 'round the clock with the most skilled French painters, could capture the moment my Chamois Man met my Ranchero. I don't think that they would know how to paint "Boo-yah!"; I don't think they would be able to rhyme "Boo-yah!". But if they could, they'd be millionaires.
A- "Boo-yah! Boo-yah! Boo-yah! Boo-yah!"
A bellowed each exclamation louder and louder, hopping on one foot, the other cocked up close to his body--he looked like a grungy Arsenio Hall, if Arsenio had been a flamingo.
And with each exclaim he pumped his fist into the air.
But it was only to swish his ponytail from side to side--HE WAS--NO!--It appeared that he was whinnying like a stallion!
SWISH! went his mane! SWISH! it went again!
This was no Flamingo Arsenio! This was Andalusian Arsenio!
The older Chamois Guy asked me, calmly, was The Darkness a '68.
No. A '69.
Was it pretty fuckin sweet?
Yes. It was.
A came up to me, eyes twinkling.
A- "That car is fucking awesome! I never owned one, but I drove a lot of them!" (and a knowing wink)
I wasn't sure what the knowing wink was for; had he stolen a lot of Rancheros as a kid, or did his father own a dealership, or did perhaps in dreams he was cowboy that rode wild Rancheros at the rodeo--I don't know.
Then things got serious.
A- "You know, that car--it takes me back. You know, to a time when I was young and a somebody. I was having a pretty fuckin' bad life since then--until you drove in here--and now, I feel awesome! Thanks man!"
. . .and so Ranchero of Arimathea placed her sun visor on the leg of the cripple, and he walked; on the eyes of the blindman, and he saw; on the head of the Chamois Man, and he remembered. And God looked down, and saw what good the Ranchero had done, and said that She may sit at His right hand forever and an eternity. His Son could sit in the back seat."