Saturday, February 25, 2012

Betrayal in Boganville By Tracey Sargent

Like he did every Saturday, the man started his day with a breakfast of bacon and eggs, and the company of the weekend newspaper. After a quick look through the main news items, he turned his attention to his two favourite sections. Firstly to ‘Sport’, where he learned the coach of his footy team (league of course) had resigned, ‘and about bloody time too’, he said to no one in particular. He then poured over the results of the games he’d missed because they hadn’t been televised on normal TV - ‘those Pay TV big-wigs are just money-hungry mongrels’, he’d say if anyone asked him what he thought of that arrangement.

Closing the sport pages, he moved over to the ‘Motoring’ section, a place he really liked to spend some time. Making himself a cuppa, he was ready to settle in. In his opinion, this section had everything you could ever hope for - excellent research (reviews of new car models), inspiration (a showcase of the latest luxury releases), personality (interviews with sporting legends), hard-hitting features (this week it was the top 10 most fuel-efficient cars), and national interest stories (how the Australian motoring industry stacked up globally). As his dad used to always say, there was ‘something for everyone’.

With the sweet, oily fragrance of fried fat still hanging heavy in the air, he left his dirty plate behind and wandered over to the window to look outside. You couldn’t trust those weather guys on TV - those galahs never knew what was going on. The only way to see what the weather was like was to look for yourself. It was a bit cloudy out there, but it should be right. Well it had to be, didn’t it? It was car-washing day.

Wearing his favourite pair of old khaki ruggers, and with feet as bare as his chest, he was ready to battle with dirt, oil and grease. Armed in one hand with a suds filled bucket and sponge, and in the other his high pressure hose was poised to strike - this was a war he had won before and would win again. The subject of all this attention was his black Series II VE Holden Commodore SV6, or ‘the other woman’ as she was also known. Not that there was a woman for the car to have stolen his heart away from, but still the name stood.

He hosed the car down first and then got busy with the sponge and the suds. Starting on the roof and working his way towards that slightly boxy nose, he was consumed by the task at hand. If he’d been paying attention, he would have noticed the clouds above his head had transformed from light shadowy grey, to heavy, black and menacing. But he wasn’t, so he didn’t.

After a quick rinse, the car was ready to be dried off. As sweat beaded on his brow, his left arm worked hard to remove every last drop of water. He paused from time-to-time, but only for a moment, to wring the collected water out of his chamois. If he’d been paying attention, he might have been concerned about the kids playing in the street with cans of silly string and glitter spray - a messy combination to remove from any clean surface. But he wasn’t, so he didn’t.

Now that the car had been wiped dry, it was time to polish. This was the best bit, it was a slow process but one that was ultimately rewarding. As the chalky white polish was buffed away, a brilliantly glossy finish was gradually revealed.

Finally, a good hour and a half after he started, he was finished. A job well done. Standing back to admire his handiwork, he finally noticed the gathering storm and the children wildly dashing about. ‘Right then’, he said as he fixed upon a solution - moving his car up out of the driveway and under the car port. Putting away his bucket and sponge until next weekend, he headed back indoors where a cool drink beckoned. If he’d been paying attention, he would have noticed a muddy dog chase a cat into his front yard. The cat jumped to safety, but the dog, distracted by her reflection on the surface of that glossy car, became aware of her dirty appearance and proceeded to shake herself clean. But he wasn’t, so he didn’t.


jodeska said...

I love this! Is this part of your bigger story?

Tracey said...

So glad you liked it Jo ... no, this is just a little stand alone piece I came up with.

It was lots of fun to write.

Galit said...

Such a lovely little piece!!! It was a great company for my morning coffee!!
Love your writing so much Tracey! Everything you write, the most trivial, the everyday details, the sweet humanity of it, always put a smile on my face. x