Good Ole Days
by Ashantay Peters
Sky shit, I call it. Ya know the kind. Can’t see cars a comin’ even with their lights burnin’. Leastways not from more than a yard or so.
I was drivin’ to work year afore I retired, when I saw somethin’ big on the shoulder. T’was over by Brook Lane, just before the bridge, where the road widens. Ya know, where the old oak stood until the tornado sheared off the top. Harriet was still alive then. Afore she took so sick and died.
Oh, sorry I left off talkin’. You didn’t have to elbow me so hard, Grady. I’m telling this story, not you. Lessen you was there? Didn’t think so.
Right. That shadow was too big fer a deer, but ya kin never tell in the kinda pea souper we had that day. I slowed my truck down a tad. Lucky I did. A couple a cars had pulled over, and with the number of damn fools on and off the road, even back then, some idiot coulda jumped right out in front a me, not lookin’. Nobody did, not that day, but I caught a glimpse of two Chevys, nothing more. Had to keep my peepers open in that thick crap them fool weathermen try to palm off as low-lying clouds. Like clouds don’t have the sense to stay put in the sky where God put ‘em. What do they teach kids in school these days?
You don’t need to glare so, Grady. I’m a gittin’ to the point.
I didn’t think too much about them Chevys until the next morning. And damn, there they was agin. Or I reckoned it were them. Two of ‘em – one red, one blue. They was about the same model year near as I could figure, exceptin’ one had more rust. But that’s not what caught my eye. No siree.
Them two drivers was standin’ between the cars jabberin’ away faster than a windmill in a storm. Looked like a fender bender to me ‘til they started huggin’. Yup. Then kissin’. I tell ya, when we was their age, folks didn’t do that sorta thing in public.
You’re right as rain, ole friend. The world’s gone to hell in a hand basket.
Well, t’were a real eye opener, all that carryin’ on before seven-thirty in the mornin’. More of a jolt to my system than black coffee. And you know how I love my coffee. Damn doctors tryin’ to tell me it’s not good to drink. Fools. I’m almost ninety. How else will I git my ticker a goin’ ever morn?
Huh? Oh, right, them two kids. Huggin’ and kissin’. Harriet always did say I couldn’t tell a tale without goin’ halfway up the mountain and round the backside first.
Grady? You need a glass a water or somethun? Yer shoulders is shakin’ somethin’ bad. You want to hear this or not? Okay then.
Those young fools sure handed me an eyeful, you betcha. Had to brake fast on account I couldn’t see diddly ahead of me. I figured they was some crazy kids and drove on. None of my beeswax. Well, sure I caught me an eyeful afore I moved on. I ain’t dumb now and tweren’t then.
Did I see ‘em agin? That what you asked, Grady?
Well, how’d ya know? Was it you in that car, Grady? Ha. Come on, laugh you bugger. I’m kiddin’. I know you never cheated on Doris. She’d a knocked you for a loop and a half then come after you with her skillet. Hey, come on, now. No need to wave your cane at me.
Okay, okay, I’m gittin’. The next day they was in the same spot, only inside the blue Chevy. They was a carryin’ on like it was fourteen hours later on a dead end road. You ain’t so old you ain’t hearing me Grady, you ole dog.
Whoo. Cain’t member when I laughed so hard. You always git me goin’.
So them two, I couldn’t quit figure ‘em. Was they honeymooners on overlapping work shifts? Meetin’ on the road was meybe the only way they saw each other. You member them days, dontcha? Back at the textile plant afore them bastards sent our jobs to Chinee?
What? You think they coulda been stepping out on their partner? Could be, yep. Guess it weren’t my bidness, not when you get right down to it. Course, they kinda made it my bidness, flauntin’ it out on the road that a way. Figured they musta been in a right hurry, though, cause I sure woulda found a private smoochin’ place.
Yep, I member the old Piney Hill parkin’ spot. That were me and Harriet’s special spot. We got engaged up there, yes sir, sure did. You didn’t? Fool. Surprised Doris said yes to you in the Dog ‘N Suds parkin’ lot. Surprised she said yes a’tall. Ha.
Well now, I saw them two lovebirds same place, same time, ever day for ‘bout a week, or ten days, could be. Then one morning I saw the red Chevy, no driver behind the wheel, no blue Chevy. Figured one got t-other and away they went. But then the next mornin’, no car a’tall. I looked for a couple a days, but nothin’. Gone.
Whadda mean, what’s the point? Well, I missed ‘em, ya know? Them two kids added a spark to my day. You member what it were like. Kissin’ up yer girl and holdin’ her tight ever chance ya got. Nothin’ like that feelin’. If Harriet and Doris was here right now, that’s what we’d be doin’. Lovin’ on our girls. I sure miss that sugar, don’t you?
Asides, they left me wonderin’ what happened to ‘em. That there’s a mystery I ain’t ever gonna solve. Who was they? Where’d they come from and where’d they go? Why’d they meet on the highway, and why’d they stop?
Lunch time? Yep, I could use a bite. Let’s go, buddy.
Ashantay Peters lives in the North Carolina mountains, where she loves escaping into a well-written book. Her reading addiction also has her perusing magazines, newspapers, Internet articles and even food labels - feebly excused as "for health purposes." She loves to hear from readers and promises not to stalk anyone who contacts her via her website - www.ashantay.com.