Andrew dipped his hand into the yellow-green water, ran his thumb over the torn mesh covering the sponge, then sighed. He let his fingers relax so the sponge would start to slip through them, pulled toward the slimy surface by its buoyancy, then with an unnoticed satisfaction caught the neon pink scrubber by its fleeing tail. A hundred times a day a smile darted across his face as he performed adroit stunts of soap-lathering and vacuum-wand-effects. Occasionally he noticed and, ashamed of his upturned lips, forced an unconvincing frown that made his eyebrows pinch too close together. Andrew shook twice, splish, splish, the palm-sized pillow that chained him to the gang, then drew the sponge up from the bucket.

Hey Bugboy! ‘Yer in for a treat – bellowed Asshole Jim, who’d taken a liking to Andrew from day one, as he pointed to a monster GMC that was rolling into line. It was topped thickly with mud icing and mosquito-leg sprinkle – the kind of crust that deserves an hour’s soak. Asshole Jim was the only member of the back-line crew Andrew could take, so he was graced with a slight demonstration of camaraderie instead of the mumbled threats that dominated the few sentences he’d spoken to the rest of the crew. Andrew gave Asshole Jim a shoulder shrug and head-nod-eye-roll combo. Translation: fuck them and their shit-splattered, Silver-Wash including white-wall scrub and complimentary air refresher-asses. He plunged his hand back into the bucked with scooping motion, no squeezes, so it was sopping full as he glided it over the insect splatter painting the bumper of the red GMC.

Filed under Fiction on March 8th, 2004