You woke up early with a purpose in mind. The car wash that you had been putting off was finally going to happen today. You pushed the curtains aside and yes, the sky was downcast, consistent with a gloomy and rainy day ahead. You never trusted weather forecasts but it had been accurate for the past week - cloudy mornings followed by rainy afternoons.

You dutifully performed your morning rituals - a visit to the toilet followed by an energy-packed breakfast to prepare yourself for the gruelling work ahead. Of course, you were not going to have your morning shower just yet. It will have to wait until you finished washing your car. You got the pail, car shampoo and walked out to the tap. You mixed the shampoo with water and reached for the sponge.

“Oh, the sponge. I forgot to buy a sponge,” you mumbled to yourself.

Thankfully there was a lightbulb moment. You rushed into your house and went through your closet for some old clothes.

It has to be this. I hated this shirt so much. The most expensive but the most hated, you thought to yourself.

It was the striped shirt that you bought for a date with the girl of your dreams. While walking to the restaurant to meet her, the heavens opened up. You found shelter at a bus stop without getting drenched. Unfortunately, luck was not on your side. A truck sped past a puddle and you got splashed with dirty, murky water. You had no choice but to call the date off. That was the last time you heard from the girl. Coincidentally, it was also the last time you trusted the weatherman. He promised a balmy day but you got cats and dogs instead. 

You snapped out of your reverie and went back to your car. After a decade, here you were, giving the weatherman another chance. Dark clouds loomed directly above your house. You hurried to wash your car before it rained. Your plan was to apply your car with the watered down wash and wax shampoo and let the rain do the rinsing. It was the perfect plan.

You turned on the tap and sprayed your car with water. You soaked your shirt-turned-rag into the pail and started to dabble shampoo all over your car with it. In the distant, the sound of thunder warned you that rain was imminent. You were actually glad that it was about to rain. You had finished scrubbing all the dirt off your car so you stood back to admire your work. Your car was covered in yucky brown foam from all the dirt that you had managed to get out of your car.

You heard leaves rustle from nearby trees. Birds were flying around to look for a place to perch. The wind got stronger as leaves and twigs flew across the sky. Somehow, they decided to land on your car. 

Your car was covered with dried leaves, twigs and bird poo in under a minute. You stared up at the sky, speechless. You wondered if the rain was able to clear all those things from your car. There was nothing much that you can do at this point. Frustrated, you stormed into your house and went to the fridge for a cold drink to cool off. When you were greeted by an empty fridge, you cursed at yourself for not having gone grocery shopping for the past two weeks.

You resorted to your little kettle on the kitchen top. You swore that you had boiled the water last night… or did you? The kettle was full of water, after all. Warning bells sounded in your head. You should never drink unboiled water in your part of the world. You cursed again and decided to pour yourself a glass. You sat down and stared at the glass of water. It looked clear enough so you decided to take the risk and gulped it down.

Suddenly, a loud thunderclap shook your world. The glass slipped out of your hands and shattered into a million pieces. Your kitchen lights flickered and went off. After more curses, you stepped off your kitchen stool and made your way carefully to the vacuum. You plugged it in and admonished yourself for being stupid. It was a blackout, for goodness sake! You resorted to using your broom and dustpan to clear as much of the broken glass as possible.

When you were done, you let out a sigh of relief. You were rather pleased about not having cut yourself. You moved out into the living hall. You looked out the window and, not for the first time, thought about how wrong the weather forecast had been. You cursed at yourself for trusting the weatherman. Why hadn’t I learnt my lesson?

The dark clouds had disappeared. The sun was out and shining proudly. You looked at your car. It had never been worse than this. You walked out and turned on the hose. Despite your efforts, you were not able to clean off the mess. As a last resort, you drove out to your nearest gas station with an auto car wash. Apparently, the blackout extended to a wider area than you thought. You were about to drive off when the owner told you that his workers were willing to clean your car manually, for double the price. They pointed out that the condition of the car was terrible and required some major cleaning.

You were exhausted from your day’s unfortunate events and wanted to just get your car cleaned so that you can head home. You silently nodded your head in agreement and backed away.

Go, go get my car and clean it whichever way you wish. Just be quick about it, you thought. 

You walked into the convenience store to get a soda and some junk food to pass your time. You reached out to get a pack of crispy prawn crackers and before you knew it, it started to pour. You stared blankly through the glazing, questioning if there were any logic to all these but you found no answers. You abandoned the pack of crackers and went off to get your car, hoping to stop the washing.

You were amazed to find that your car was waiting for you, squeaky clean. Under the canopy, you noticed that there was a certain shine to it that you were once proud of. It was almost like the first day when you fell in love with the car and brought it home.

You had little choice than to pay for the services so you dug into your wallet. Settled, you drove off towards home. Every drop of rain that pelted on your car hurts your soul. You knew that by the time you reached home, your car was going to be dirty again.

Ahead of you was a huge puddle of muddy water. It was obvious that it came from the construction site next to the road. You tried to slow down as much as possible to reduce a splash but the car on the next lane did not have the same courtesy. It swooshed past you and bathed your car in mud.

You decided that it was not going to be your day. You gave up and just focused on the journey home. You parked your car and went straight to the bathroom. At least you could treat yourself to a warm bath until you realised that the power was still out. Overwhelmed with exhaustion, you sat on your sofa and closed your eyes, hoping that when you woke up, it was all just a bad dream.

June 26, 2020 16:10

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