Dixie Darr

Wait Wait

In Learning on July 14, 2017 at 6:50 am

As usual, I had put it off as long as possible, but yesterday I finally bit the bullet and took my car in for its biennial emissions test. Avoiding it would be as easy as driving on a highway every once in a while. A friend told me that Air Care Colorado publishes the locations of their mobile testing stations on their website, so I’m marking my calendar for 2019 right now.
After a twenty-minute wait, I made it to the front of the line and went into the crummy customer waiting room. I pulled out my Kindle and settled in to wait some more.
That’s when the only other person there decided to tell me his life story.
Sixty-something and thin, with longish brown hair, and an oversized Hawaiian shirt, he said, “this line hasn’t moved for an hour.”
“Hmmm,” I said.
“My car is black,” he said pointing to the black Mercedes in front of us, “and the heat was unbearable.”
“Hmmm,” I said and glanced back down to my book, but he wasn’t finished.
I resigned myself to listen. Maybe I could learn something about writing dialog.
“I’m never getting a black car again. I just bought this one last year, and the prices of used cars are way up because there’s no inventory. I know because I have two sons in the car business.”
He glanced out at his car and added, “I’m also in the car business, but I’m not working. Nobody will let me work.” He pulled up his pant leg to show me a prosthetic leg and said, “For over 40 years. Vietnam.”
I nodded.
He held out a hand and said, “I’d rather lose both legs than one of these.”
I had never thought about it, but couldn’t disagree.
“My daughter is in real estate,” he said, switching subjects, “and there aren’t any houses available either. They’re building high rises all around me. I’ve never seen anything like the development in Denver. It’s a five to seven-year cycle.”
“Looks like your car is ready,” I said with some relief.
Then my car arrived, I paid my $25 and left.
Next time, I’m definitely going to find one of those mobile testing units.

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