By: Peter Puller
I was taking my El Dorado to the car wash, the one where the buffing is still done with a personal touch.
As a middle-aged man, married CEI, I realized that watching men in tight 50I's and torn t-shirts was about as close as I was going to get to any of them.
Even though it was completely across town, I loved this particular car wash the best, because of Julio. He was a new kid, just barely eighteen. I noticed him the first time about a month ago. And since that time I've had the cleanest Caddy in the state.
Julio must have noticed me too, because he always managed to work it so he got my car. My favorite part was when he'd fly that little rag up in the air - signaling he was done - and I'd trot over and slip a fiver into his sweaty, callused palm, lingering for just a minute longer than I should.
I took my car in last week, the second time in three days, and, as usual, Julio was standing at the entrance with the vacuum hose. I pulled my car up to the white line and got out so he could vacuum the inside, front and back. Then I got back in and pulled around the corner to the entrance of the wash. I rolled up the windows and retracted the antenna just as my front tires caught the mechanical tracks that would pull my car through the soap and suds.
Just as the first brush hit the roof of my car, Julio ran over and jumped in next to me, slamming the door behind him. He didn't speak any English, but I could see in his eyes why he'd come. According to my calculations we had only about two minutes to get down to it. And we wasted no time.