Frank smoothed his hands over her curves and shuddered. Could his wife ever make him feel this way? Candy cobalt blue, fins, and chrome. Oh, that chrome. He moved his face close to it, watching his reflection flicker across the script Bel Air logo of his 1957 Chevy. “What a dream you are, Millie. What a dream.” He snapped his chamois and began to work her third coat of wax. Three coats was enough but only if they made Millie sparkle, and not just a little.
The door between the house and the garage flew open. “I don’t understand it, Frank. I just don’t understand it.” The bespectacled woman stood with the TV remote in her hands and a look of exasperation on her face. “I can’t get Wheel on the TV. I can’t miss Vanna. How do I change the channel?” She punched at the control like a one fingered typist until by random luck Pat Sajack’s voice echoed through the room.
The door swung shut.
He worked his toothbrush around the twin hood ornaments; soft bristle, of course. Firm would scratch the clear varnish sealant. That could take hours of buffing to repair, a fact he knew from experience. He’d spent worse nights, like when his wife insisted on watching Letterman in bed. Millie made no foolish demands and performed whenever she was asked.
“Kristy lost her gerbil.”
He hadn’t seen her come back.
“Kristy lost her gerbil and the toilet’s stopped up. How long can they hold their breath?” She placed her hands on her squishy hips and sighed. “Well?” Rolling her eyes, she turned away.
The door slammed.
Millie wore a hardtop. White, to match the sides of her tires. Two doors, although one was all Frank needed. Three made a crowd when he went cruising with his favorite gal. He loved her best when he could love her alone. Millie was always ready to go places, just the two of them. He smiled and petted her rounded headlights, while taking his tweezers to the radiator grill. “Can’t have any pests caught in your teeth, can we?”
His wife propped the door with a stop. “I think our new neighbor might be a bank robber. A police car was at his house today. You never can tell. Men have shifty eyes. Don’t you think?” She blinked. “I saw Eunie Boomgarden in the grocery. She looked bad, really old. Turns out it was actually Grandpa Johnson. He says ‘hi’.” She walked away but called back over her shoulder as she clattered dishes in the kitchen sink. “Did you know that some parts of pine cones are edible? I read about it on my writer’s blog. I think there’s a recipe for soup somewhere.”
Frank crept to the door and closed it.
He opened the hood. Raw power. A fully detailed 283 horse power Super Turbo-Fire V-8 engine smiled at him. He felt his cheeks flush with warmth. He loved looking at Millie’s private parts. “Gonna check your fluids, darling. Gotta make sure you’re topped off just right.” He wiped oil, the color of transparent caramel, onto his sleeve and beamed. He pulled a fresh rag from his pocket and buffed the engine block, polishing the chrome distributor and radiator caps. “Now don’t that make you feel pretty?”
“So I said that if her louse of a husband even talked to that floozy again she should make him sleep in the garage for a year.”
Frank looked from Millie to his spouse — she’d used a chair to prevent further door closures — wondering if he could skip the floozy and go straight to sleeping in the garage.
“And can you believe that Shannon is gone? At least that’s what I heard. Taking a tour of the islands. Imagine it, after all that she’s been through. I just don’t understand people.”
At last, something that he could relate to. Frank ran his palm over his face and shook his head. He pressed the button on the garage opener and watched the slatted metal partition roll upwards, drowning out the words that nattered from the house.
He slipped into the driver’s seat. The smell of canvas and vinyl encircled him; he inhaled deeply. He took the wheel, fondling the grips with his eager fingers. The engine muttered when he turned the key. “Yes, baby. Yes, baby. Yes, baby. Yes, baby.”
Frank groaned with satisfaction.
He placed Millie in gear and drove away.
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