Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Garage Talk

Carl felt the cold air before he saw his brother-in-law Jarrett walk into the garage and shut the door with his foot. Jarrett leaned up against the wall, and removed his cap, wiping at his hair in the one fluid movement of a man who had been wearing a cap as long as he could consciously use his appendages and maybe a little before that.
Carl turned to look over his shoulder and nodded a silent greeting, the way men do when they don’t want to waste extra words.
Finally, Jarrett found the confidence to confess, “She’s throwin’ things, man.”
“What?” The comment was enough to make Carl stand straight, grabbing for the faded pink rag on the hood of the Chevy he was working on.
“She’s in the house, throwin’ things at me. I asked her what was wrong and she said she feels like beatin’ me up.”
Carl grinned and turned back to his work. “You just caught her at a bad time. Her grumpy hormones have her happy hormones in a headlock. By the time you get home, she’ll be sobbin’ ready to make up.”
Jarrett looked doubtful at his brother-in-law. “I don’t know.” He turned his elbow to inspect the small gash capped with a bubble of burgundy coagulated blood. “She nailed me pretty good.”
In another surge of interest, Carl dropped his wrench. “Woo boy. Let me see.” He hurried over to look at the wound Jarrett was holding as if he’d been mauled by a lion. “She sure did. What’d she get you with?”
“Tweezers. That’s what she was doing when she got mad—-pullin’ her eyebrows and--I dunno, other stuff. Said she was tired of fightin’ with her mustache, or somethin’. Then all I said was ‘yeah there was a long one on the side of your cheek.’ And she let me have it. She growled too. Scared the snot out of me.”
Carl pressed his lips together to keep a laugh from exploding, but ended up doubled over guffawing instead. When he’d finally composed himself, he swiped at the blood on Jarrett's arm with his oily rag, smearing it a little bit.“You’ll live, man. Live and learn. You're lucky. Some men go through their marriage without so much as a single battle scar—-wear that one proudly. By the time you get back in there and show her what she did, you'll be able to milk it for all it’s worth. Just make sure the tweezers aren't in her hand.” He grinned, and tousled Jarrett’s hair. “Now come’ere and hold this light.”

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