Hick and The Pony planned to leave home Sunday at 6:00 a.m., to get The Pony back to OU before the parking lot filled up and darkness fell. Of course I couldn't let The Pony go without a hug. So I got up at 5:00, just like them.
I had put all of his traveling snacks together the night before. We insisted that he have some soda with caffeine, to keep him awake this time, during his final 4 hours of driving alone. I had gummi bears in a folded-over plastic bag that did not need opening. Some Pringles in a flip top bowl that could be opened as Hick got out and The Pony started away on his own. A couple of leftover rolls in an open baggie. The Pony had strict instructions to have everything ready within reach as he hit the road, even the top of his soda open, so he was not distracted while driving.
The Pony and Hick were in their respective showers as I looked around to make sure everything was packed. I was mainly trying to distract myself, because I didn't want to see The Pony leave again. As he waited on Hick, I helped him fluff his curly locks, which he has let grow, though not quite to Guns-N'-Roses Slash proportions. Yet.
Then they were out. Out of the house. Getting into separate cars, to drive to town and meet up with HOS, who would drive my Acadia while Hick and The Pony took turns in his new used Rogue. Just past the Missouri border, The Pony would continue alone.
The Pony had parked his Rogue behind the carport. He was under it the day before, but Hick had hounded him about backing it out, because, in standard Hick behavior, he had a carport built that can't fit two cars comfortably. "Pony! You almost knocked your mirror off on that support pole!" Said the man who knocked a mirror off my previous Suburban, and my current T-Hoe, on two separate occasions, backing them out of the too-small garage. So The Pony just left it in the side driveway. Here:
That was the night before the leaving. On this dark morning at 6:00 a.m., there was a layer of frost on everything, and fog hanging low over the homestead. I had stepped out in my jammies and Crocs (the color of the Rogue!) and a CPO jacket to wave goodbye.
The Pony was sitting behind the wheel, his car running, windshield wipers swooshing the frost. Hick was walking to the garage to get A-Cad.
"Wait! He's got frost all over!"
"I know. He had to park out from under the carport. I told him that's why I had the carport built. So I don't have to scrape my windshield every morning."
"He can't drive off like that! I know how you are. You'll take off, and he'll try to catch up to you."
"Nah. He knows we're stopping for gas first. It'll be melted off there in no time." Said the man who built himself a carport-for-one. And continued into the garage.
I was having none of that. I went out to The Pony's window. The old red Crocs ain't what they used to be. I felt every gravel point on my soles. Plus a cold draft through the holes. I tapped on The Pony's window so he'd roll it down. He couldn't see me, you know, because all windows were coated with frost.
"Do you have a scraper? I told Dad last night to give you one, because that morning you start out after finals, it will probably have frost on it. And gloves. He said he gave you gloves."
"I haven't seen either one, but he said he put gloves in for me. I don't know where."
By this time, Hick had backed A-Cad out of the garage and was sitting with it pointing up the driveway, ready to lead The Pony to gas. I went over and tapped on HIS window. He knew I was there. He just wasn't rolling it down.
"The Pony needs all those windows clear before he starts out. Aren't you going to scrape them? You're just sitting here. You car doesn't need it."
"The defroster will melt that ice in a minute."
I saw that I was getting nowhere. Hick was going to let two cars sit running, burning gas, rather than clear the windows. I hobbled back across the rocks in my run-down Crocs and over the uneven brick sidewalk, and into the garage, and to the narrow part between the doors, where I saw a yellow-handled ice scraper hanging on a nail. I wrestled it loose from the nail that didn't want to relinquish it, and went back out to The Pony's car, and started scraping his driver's window.
"I'm not doing this window behind you, because you won't be looking out that one. But I'll go around and get your two passenger windows. Looks like your de-icer thingy has it off the back windshield already."
So The Pony and Hick sat in their warming-up cars, while I teetered around on gossamer-thin rubber soles, scraping frost that went up my sleeves an melted on my hands that were barely warmer than the frost. I even had to tell The Pony to TURN OFF his windshield wipers so I could do the windshield. Even at my narcoleptic turtle speed, it was done in three minutes.
I'm not happy that Hick didn't take more initiative. But it gave me three more minutes with my little Pony.