Life in the Slow Lane, Early Retirement

It is 12:20 pm on a Tuesday. I sit at the car wash where my mom got me a handful of free hand washes for Christmas. There is bird shit on my windshield and streaks of vomit that an unnamed friend did not fully wipe off after a night of too many tequila shots. It was the first time my car had been violated in such a manner. I am waiting for my car under a brown awning where the shade is spread in boxy, linear chunks. There are ads for “safe” hair extensions and synthetic grass. Each person is on a cell phone and every car is expensive.
For the bulk of my time waiting I am concerned about what to tip the Mexican who is about to vigorously clean the inside of my car with a rag. “Such hard work,” I think. And then I remind myself how I usually do the very same thing because I am too cheap to pay for a proper professional cleaning. I sneeze. No one says “bless you” or “Gesundheit.” This is perhaps because of the deafening whirl of the car washing line going on behind me. Or maybe these people are just rude.

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