Guy You Want
The car breaks down but I don't because the tow-guy
identified and dialed from inside the warm car
seconds after some pin, valve, lever or whatnot failed
is on his way.
I wait, holding a hot cappuccino, watching the mirrors.
The truck pulls in ahead of the car;
he writes something on a metal clipboard in the cab
and exits into the subzero.
He is a Carhartt colossus.
Tall as the truck's cab,
his Bunyan paces confirm his perfect placement
of bumper to hitch.
His mighty palms are their own gloves;
he bare-hands the frost-forged metal latches
and anchors the steel hooks into
the mounting eyes.
"Yes, sir!" I celebrate, "when you break down,
this is the guy you want."
This guy rode Big Wheels and collected Hot Wheels
and keeps Hot Cars magazine on the shelves
at the 7-11s where he fills his steel thermos with black only
and Tuesdays are two-for-one burritos.
This guy names every car Shelby; all of his PINs are 0427.
He should be trademarked by Mopar.
He dreams in regular.
With as much effort as popping a hood,
he has the car secured and ready for transport.
In his cab I ask,
"Bet you get a lot of calls when it's this cold."
"Yep. Don't matter. Machines break down hot or cold," he tells me.
His cab confirms his convenience store stops:
breakfast sandwich wrappers
Doritos on the dash
stockpile of unused straws.
Beside the king-sized Mars and Raw Hide beef jerky in the cup holder
rests a small purple cell phone
with dangling pink rhinestones.
The winter sun hits the windshield
then the bling
placing prisms across his stubbled jaw.
"Daughter's," he chimes
and I imagine his mammoth hands
holding her pinkie like a glass fuse
while he sputters Go-Dog-Go
with her in his bucket seat lap
her toes barely reaching his knees.
And I wonder how stuck he felt
when she gained enough control
to take her bike all the way around the block
as he held his hand up as a visor
though she was well out of sight
hoping his customized lessons kept her away from cars.
And a guy like that made her earn
her own cell phone
and before her first car
she'll learn to change flats
and correct skids.
And a guy like that
will make damn sure her car makes curfew.
"She deployed two months ago," he tells me.
"Sweeps for mines."
Silence then while we concerned ourselves
with the windows and mirrors.