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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

cool mint gum

It happened a long time ago, but I once saw a young woman driving a charcoal grey Volkswagen. She was wearing a pink summer dress, and her nicely shaped breasts were sticking out like jet engines. Also, she was wearing white sandals. The reason I knew about the sandals was because she stopped her car in front of the bench where I was sitting, rustled her sandals against the floor of the car as she put them on (she must have been driving barefoot all this time), and walked right past me as she went to the store to buy some cool mint gum.

I was staring at her through all of this. Her dress fit tightly, so -- how can I say this -- it ended up being a very enjoyable stare. Her shoulders moved gracefully, and her belly seemed as flat as a sheet of drawing paper-- she was that slender. In short, she was the girl who single-handedly embodied the summer of 1967. I imagined that on a shelf in her room she had a collection of everything having to do with the summer of ‘67, neatly placed there like organized pairs of underwear.

She opened the gum wrapper and tossed a single piece of gum in her mouth. Chewing on her gum in a way that was downright charming, she walked right past me once more.

And then her charcoal grey Volkswagen drove off into the flow of summer, like a river trout gracefully swimming upstream.

It’s been 14 years since then, but every time I see a charcoal grey Volkswagen it reminds me of her.