On Monday, the rich tapestry that is Val's life snagged a few threads.
Genius drove in to partake of lunch with me and The Pony and my best ol' ex-teaching buddy Mabel. I was planning to drive the Acadia, because Genius shamed me into it the other night upon hearing that I'd driven it about 100 miles on the way home from Oklahoma, on slippery roads, in the dark. Of course as we walked out the door, Genius volunteered to drive it.
The Acadia is virtually new, you know, with only 7000 miles on it, since I have kept it in the garage mostly since we bought it last December. I'm pretty sure that's why Genius wanted to drive. I'm sure it had nothing to do with Val's driving technique. He backed A-Cad out of the garage that was built too small for two cars, because you can't open the passenger doors against the wall. I walked through and met him by the driveway, after a brief stop at the side-porch to pet my Sweet, Sweet Juno and Puppy Jack.
Juno was all fired up, feelin' her cat kibble. The temps were still in the 20s on Monday. The dogs frolic extra-hard on crisp days like that. As I leaned over to hug Jack, who stands with his feet on my shoulders like he's a big dog, Juno rushed in and planted her nose on my cheek. Just what I needed for a trip to lunch. A big wet splash of dog snot on my face. Juno must be extra-healthy lately. Her long black coat shines, even with no egg-layers left, them having been eaten by various neighbor dogs. Her rubbery black nose that I once inadvertently tasted was exceptionally moist on this day.
I was finagling my left leg into A-Cad, holding tight to the open passenger door, when Genius decided it was a good time to wash the windshield. "Your car is filthy!" My dog snot problem was remedied forthwith as windshield washer fluid sprayed me full in the face. As I sputtered, Genius showed little to no remorse. "I wondered if that might happen," said he.
Lunch and a home visit with Mabel was the high point of the day. Genius was rarin' to get back to the homestead, because he had plans to go shopping with his cousin, daughter of my sister the ex-mayor's wife. He was driving A-Cad faster than made me comfortable, even though that boy has been driving (a go-cart) since he was 3, and a standard-shift Toyota Tercel from the age of 10.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm a race car driver! I'm just gassing it to see if it has a V8."
"This is not the road for that. HEY! Don't do that! You'll put it out of gear!"
"I just want to see what this 1 and 2 mean on the shifter."
As you might imagine, we made it home with time to spare before the shopping date. Genius busied himself with distracting me from my intended purpose of gathering up my lottery winners and heading to town for more tickets and a 44 oz Diet Coke. As he was shocking himself with Jack's collar at the kitchen counter, I told him, "I've got to get going, or I won't be back before you leave. I was going to give you gas money." Well. That cooled his jets.
It's only 10 minutes to town. And 10 minutes back. And 5 minutes inside Orb K, the closest purveyor of 44 oz Diet Coke. Genius must have been the flap of a butterfly's wing where my ticket purchase was concerned. I returned home to discover that I had purchased a $100 winner. Genius had already left by the time I found out.
I restrained myself from telling him until he was back home in college town that night, having texted me to report that he got his letter with two tickets in it, and that he'd won $15.
Somehow he didn't seem so happy about it after I told him my news.