In the beginning of a crisp, gray November morning, a reticent deadbolt quietly clicked to an unlocked position. My front doorknob slowly turned and the door cautiously opened. Out stepped one sneaker, then another, and emerging from the doorway came the perpetrator.
Next, out into the stilled silence emerges a bucket with a few drops of liquid soap inside, a thick cleaning cloth, a couple old bath towels for drying, and a spray bottle of Windex. Shhhhh…3 silent steps taken toward the hose reel…
Deftly, but with great nervousness, a turnoff nozzle is screwed onto the end of the water hose.
That done, then a look to the side, a look behind, a look up at my neighbor’s balcony, and a squinted, discerning gaze across the street. Seems the coast is clear! Shhhhh, don’t get too excited. The sleeping neighborhood could awaken to French press at any time! Now, the hose is painstakingly unraveled from it’s turn wheel, measured and laid down straight and long across the front lawn to the sidewalk.
Now…gulp. Check the length of the block. Nope. No dog-walkers. Phew. Other end of the block, only a robin hopping among blades of grass. I turn on the hose and press the handle shut-off switch. Perfect. I try out each setting, and decide the soft spray is best. Then, I proceed to give “The Goddess“ her two month waited for bath! I can almost hear her sigh some sheer relief. There! The water reveals that lovely red she truly is, and away washes dirt, grit, grime, seed droppings and one bird anointment on the trunk lid of the car (or if one were in England, the boot). The “Mission Impossible“ theme song in my mind changes key…more under the radar handiwork about to commence.
Water is aimed into the bucket, and the nozzle is immediately shut off. Stealthily, I swirl the soapsuds all over the car. I can almost hear The “Dawn Goddess” giggle with glee. Sparkles emerge, glistening signs of a squeaky clean finish are visible…but not heard…thank goodness. Every nook and cranny has been gone over….even the mirrors and hubcaps.
Wait! a car is coming. I look up to see a neighbor leaving his garage to which I freeze in fear that I might be turned in to the City Water Gestapo. (Not our day on the ration roster to use water for lawns or cars.) This triggers the bongo drum solo in the “Mission Impossible” theme song, and stirs me to finish soaping ASAP!
The bucket washcloths and soapy residual are all disposed of and set aside to hide any evidenciary proof that a crime has just taken place. Perhaps, the hardest hurdle to clear is the last step. The hosing off of the soap. Yes, it is done with great trepidation and worry. But, the culprit works with fervor like nobody’s business. Footsteps? Oh No! From across the street comes a tall man. Well! A tall, HANDSOME “drink of water”– specimen of a man. He comes directly to The Goddess and says to the guilty crook….”Pretty car!” I muster a weak smile wisely and defensively and state that I used a switch on and off nozzle, so I’m all legal… (I hope) He smiled and walked on by.
Finished rinses, hose rolled back onto the hose caddy, nozzle removed and only water stains on the driveway are left behind as proof of covert work having been afoot. The car is driven back inside the garage, out of view for the meticulous business. My “Royal Red” needs me to towel-dry, clean the inside and polish her windows. As the garage door closes down to completely erase any tell-tale sign of any kind, the music still playing in my head ends with a wild crescendo of discordant and harmonious crashing, punctuating notes. Such a perfect piece of music! Yes, Mission Impossible… accomplished.