2.18.2015 Journal Prompt

Photo by William Eggleston, source thedailybeast.com
Photo by William Eggleston, source thedailybeast.com

February 18, 2015: It was the only place.

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2 thoughts on “2.18.2015 Journal Prompt

  1. There’s a car sits on the roof of Lapinsky’s bar. Been there so long it’s lost all its colour and it’s rusted over and it’s a sight for sore eyes and no mistake. Ain’t so much a car, as the shell of a car. It don’t have no engine or wheels or even front seats inside, but there’s enough you can see it’s a car. Actually, it’s a old Plymouth deluxe from the 50’s.

    Inside the bar, there’s a picture of when it was first hoisted onto the roof. There was a crowd gathered and everybody laughing and waving and maybe they was cheering, too. And the car dangling from a crane and men in hard hats directing where it should go.

    It was Bob Lapinsky’s idea. He told his old man that it’d bring in custom, which for the longest while it did. People posed outside for their picture to be taken with the car above their heads and then they came into the bar for to hear the story.

    In those early days, Bob said it was art and it was like modern art, and like that no one could question what he was saying, not when a ord’nary tin of soup could be painted as big as a oil drum and it was art. There was a article published in the local and they said the car was art and that article is in a frame behind the bar. And calling it art Bob didn’t have to explain nothing, not why it had no wheels or why he’d left the back seat in when he’d ‘bout taken everything else out.

    There’s birds nest in there now, every summer, and people come not just to look at the car these days, but to see the birds. I don’t know nothing ‘bout birds, but I hear they ain’t common birds for these parts. Now the old Plymouth deluxe is like a nature attraction, and Bob, older than his old man ever was, is fine with that.

    But, see, he’s full of shit is Bob. Cos I know what’s what ‘bout that old car and why he don’t never think of getting rid of it, even though there was a petition a few years back, before the rare birds was nesting there, and most nearly everyone for miles around signed that petition. See, that car being up there, well, it ain’t got nothing to do with art, nor anything to do with bringing folks to Lapinsky’s bar. That old Plymouth deluxe is a memorial.

    I’m married now and I got three kids and a husband and I’m respectable. But it wasn’t always so. Once I ran with the Lapinsky crowd and Bob was just eighteen then and weekends he stole beer from his dad’s bar and we drove out to Harlequin woods where we’d watch the sun going down and drink beer from the bottle and smoke cigarettes or dope. It was a Plymouth deluxe that Bob drove and it was old even then.

    And one night, and I was a little squiffy from the beer or the smokes, and Bob was looking at me funny and everyone else was nowhere. Like they’d just disappeared into thin air. And me and Bob Lapinsky, we made out on the back seat of his car and he said he loved me and after we was done he wanted to tell the whole world about it, said he wanted to shout it from the rooftops and I said he couldn’t and I made him swear to keep it between us.

    It was ‘bout a month later that he took the engine out of the Plymouth deluxe, and he took off the wheels and he pulled out the front seats, all to get the weight down, and a crane hoisted it onto the roof of his old man’s bar, and Bob said it was modern art and that way he didn’t have to explain nothing and especially not the back seat which was left in the car and which was where we’d made out.

    Years back that was, and like I say, it’s all rusted over and full of bird shit and seeds and feathers, like a old chicken coop, and it don’t look like coming down anytime soon, and I never do know what to think ‘bout it being there, ‘cept it makes me smile most every time I see it.

  2. You never can believe what our mom tells you. Not really. Like what she says about the old car sitting on the roof of Lapinsky’s bar and she says it just flew there, like flying cars is something normal and everyday. And she says it was Bob Lipinsky as was piloting the car at the time and he’d been to the moon and back on a dollar-dare and he warn’t no good at the landing so that when he came down he came down on the roof of his dad’s bar, and the car’s been there ever since.

    Our mom tells it with a straight face and so we’re supposed to believe what she’s telling us. Kitty says she don’t trust a word and our mom says if Kitty knows better how it got there then mom’d sure like to hear it. Kitty ain’t got no answer to that, ‘cept to say she don’t see no cars flying now.

    Mom’s got a reply for everything, and she don’t slip or slide, she says quick as bullets, that Kitty don’t see no flying cars cos you need a special license to fly ’em these days on account of everyone was landing ‘em on the tops of apartment stores or restaurants. And mom says ‘em licenses are so expensive and you gotta do classes and pass hard as nails exams. She says it’s harder than being a reg’lar pilot and only one or two people in all the world can fly their cars these days.

    And our dad shrugs and he says we gotta believe what out mom’s telling us and he winks at our mom and he laughs so we just don’t know what to think.

    I saw it with my own eyes, mom says. It was a starlit night and the moon was as big as a butter round and all the town was out to welcome our spaceman home again, and waving flags and cheering. And it was Rudy Cutter as Bob took the dare with and Rudy was there holding up the dollar for everyone to see. Bob was s’pposed to bring the Plymouth deluxe down on the road out front of the bar, and he just misjudged the distance. Simple as that. They had to get a crane to lift him down from the roof.

    Kitty looks at our mom through slits for eyes, looking sharp as the eyes of needles, and she’s searching for the lie in mom’s face. How come it don’t have no wheels if it was supposed to land on the road, Kitty asks.

    Mom says it’s got wheels, silly, and they’re retractable, like on a aircraft, everybody knows that.

    And Kitty does feel silly then.

    But see, I was talking to old Bob Lapinsky one day, and mom don’t know that I was. And I asked him ‘bout the car. And he didn’t say nothing ‘bout no dollar-dare or flying to the moon and back or miscalc’lating his landing. He just winked at me and he said I should ask my mom and he said she knows what’s what ’bout the car. Then Bob let me into the bar for a coke, which was real nice of him, and he lifted me onto one of the high stools, and that’s when I saw a picture behind the counter, a picture that gave the lie to what our mom said. In the picture the car was being lifted onto the roof by a great big crane, and on the wall beside the picture was one of the wheels from the car, and a bumper sticker slogan that said ‘love is reason enough’.

    I don’t know what the bumper sticker’s got to do with anything, but I know now that there ain’t no such thing as flying cars like our mom says there is. I’ve a mind to tell Kitty as much, but I reckon as she’s still a bit young for the truth.

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