The Fabrication of One's Own World

    In the middle of a dirty patch of pavement somewhere on the east side of town, there sat a squat carwash with walls of orange grit and a sign that would promptly advertise the car wash’s expertise in cleaning, if only it could be read through the grime of bird waste and what looked like egg salad. A thin trickle of soap suds creeping out of the entrance was all there was to prove the car wash’s functionality, although only those who liked the smell of industrial lilacs would approve.

    It would be reasonable to say, judging by its exterior appearance, that the car wash did not do very well for itself. But only a very curious critic would actually bother to take a look inside. And if this critic would be so inclined, they would then accept an invitation to tea and enter the car wash at their own risk. However, this was only the case when the sole resident of this car wash was having a good day, and his tea bags had stayed dry. And this, to say the least, was very rare.

    Within the car wash was a wiry old man named Charles, or Tuck for short. He was doubtlessly a raving lunatic on account of his continual intake of soap fumes and, incidentally, was doubly a raving lunatic for living in a car wash in the first place. It was a question of chickens and eggs, no doubt. He had lived in the car wash as long as he could remember but all records of this had been washed away with the storms. All he remembered were the cars. Indeed, they did come every so often. They brought the storms with them. The double barreled hoses would quiver with life, and the triple-nozzle-pressure-washers would spring from the walls. The soap would run free and the great rollers would fall from the ceiling like crushing waves.

    At these times, the man was at his finest, reliving the glory days of his youth, if ever there had been such a time.

The End

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