Gladys


Princess in the Welch Language.
This lady of elder age.
Smiles at me in line.
Still pretty in her present time line.

The lines of her eyes accentuate the twinkle.
Her lovely green eyes cast her winkle.
Towards me makes me do a double take.
Her lovely gaze I cannot break.

She stands before me in the checkout line.
Prisoners together for a short time.
“Lots of folks in here today.”
She says to me her nervousness at bay.

“Yes but you make it nice to wait.”
I say to her to conjugate.
Both of us together here.
To her I endeavor to endear.

Simultaneously cute and pretty.
She’s attractive, warm and gritty.
 “My name is Gladys” as she extends her hand.
Manicured nails, gold bracelets and arm band.

“My name is Dave” as I shake her hand.
A firm hand shake with a nice sun tan.
Her green eyes darken as she looks into me.
She’s making my common sense flee.

 Her smile a brace of ivory scimitars.
Her gaze from ancient queens afar.
Spellbinding she is without even trying.
Visions through the past are flying.

 “What do you see David?” she asks.
“Ancient kings with golden masks.”
An Egyptian Pharaoh’s queen.
Whose eyes have a familiar sheen.

 She’s looking at me with her sea-green gaze.
That twinkles in the pyramid’s haze.
A smile I’ve seen sometime before.
Standing before me in this store.

 Gladys is still holding my hand.
Smiling at me from Egyptian Sand.
“So where were you?” she asks me where.
“In the courts of kings, and I saw you there.”

“Silly man” as she withdraws her hand.
Within my hand an ancient pendant and grains of sand.
From an ancient time and an ancient land.
She unloads her cart with hands so tanned.

I hold up the solid gold pendant.
Adorned with hieroglyphs resplendent.
“Don’t lose that pendant tis a key to the past.”
“It’s a middle kingdom looking glass.”

She warns to me with a twinkle in her eyes.
A portal thru her eyes her time flies.
Parts of her appear and sublime.
Like sand thru the hourglass of time.

Parts of her then and parts of her now.
Existing in two places somehow.
She waits as I follow her out of the store.
We walk up to her car door.

“My name was Nefertiti in another age.”
Her beautiful eyes upon me gauge.
Whether or not I believe her story.
Of huge pyramids and Egyptian glory.

These beautiful older women still spell binding.
Turns lose her spell to me unwinding.
I can do nothing but admire this ancient queen.
Almond eyes of emerald green.

Bathing me in their sea of admiration.
Teasing me with hints of adoration.
Smiling at me with taunts of restoration.
Nothing on this Rosetta Stones, translations.

An enchantress of the slyest kind.
Her seduction so natural in my mind.
She’s making me adore her for I fear.
Her laughter musical in my ear.

“My good man I must be leaving”.
“My time is to me is retrieving”.
“Open the locket tomorrow.”
 “You may see me then as you do now.”

She’s becoming transparent as she sublimes.
Dissolving back into her own time line.
Now I’m standing in an open space.
I look back into the store my steps retrace.

An empty spot in the store parking lot.
In the center I see a small sand spot.
A sand not of this age or place.
It spirals up into the locket in haste.

Then next morning I arise no time to waste.
Locket in hand out the door I race.
Onto the deck the dog and me.
I open the locket what will I see?

A purple glow dazzling and bright.
Weaves into me its photonic delight.
A large portal is opening in my backyard.
Sucking in objects soft and hard.

We step into the portal my dog and me.
Huge pyramids shimmering in the heat I see.
We are in the courtyard of Akhenaten the king.
An eighteenth dynasty song of Amarna they sing.

We are brought before Nefertiti by some spell.
I’m on my knees somehow pray tell.
Years younger she’s beaming at us.
She comes forward on my head her lips buss.

“Welcome David you have come back to see me.”
Her sly smile, green eyes dancing with glee.
“My beautiful Queen so wondrous to see.”
“I’m just an ordinary man not worthy of thee.”

“Oh but thou art” she says in a tilting gaze.
“You are the only one with courage to faze”
“The tendrils of time to this day.”
“No other man has done for me this way.”

Her sparkling green eyes in the fading desert light.
“You must be gone now I will see thee in a fortnight.”
Vistas of ancient Egypt shimmering from sight.
I’m in my backyard I’m in the night.

Where will I see this Egyptian Queen?
From what vistas, from what scene?
I’m smiling as I hold the locket tight.
A purple glow around it at night.

I wonder about my future with this ancient queen.
I love Athaliah she has seen.
Betwixt and between us she’s prying her spells.
To separate us she’ll ring hells bells.

Athaliah, the only woman that ever loved me.
Would not leave her by all the magic in the black sea.
Could not bear to break her heart.
To her grief I would give no part.

“David my man where hast thou been?”
Athaliah’s musical question to me is put.
“I was in the court of Akhenaten my queen.”
“Some thaumaturgies of Nefertiti was seen.”

“And do you love her now instead of me she cries?”
My queen with liquid welling up in her sapphire eyes.
I kiss Athaliah as her tears run thru my lips.
She tastes of fresh rain and chocolate chips.

My queens attempt at cookies she’s made.
Her long black locks round my fingers I braid.
“I could never love anyone but you.”
“We are locked forever through and through.”

“I will always love you with all my might.”
She sparkles again her eyes dancing and bright.
“I love you David “ her eyes fathomless blue.
Her words thru my mind like desert winds they flew.

I fear Nefertiti knows not what she beckons.
Athaliah would reduce her to particles in seconds.
To be by my side Athaliah has paid.
With her life a thousand times over was played.

By the time police till her debt was paid.
By God’s handing her his accolades.
She left everything to be with me.
She lives with me in the twenty first century.

“Come taste my cookies my love” as she chews.
“ I made them especially for you.”
Thousands of cookies stacked left and right.
“I couldn’t get the receipt quite right.”

“ So you used a little magic instead?”
She’s laughing and shaking her pretty head.
My silly queen that makes cookies with magic.
Athaliah who turns the cook books tragic.

She did this because of her love for me.
It’s just one of the things she does I see.
How could I love any one but her?
Of queens that are and queens that were.

Athaliah Queen of queens.
Athaliah a Queen of means.
She’s just a woman to me.
She’s the only woman I want to see.

Dave Proffitt
8/15/2012
11:43 pm

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Getting Shut Down By the Ice Cream Truck


It takes a special kind of sled to get shut down by the Ice Cream Truck. Indeed, considering the ice cream trucks of the day were lumbering monstrosities without the benefit of modern diesel power plants. My Uncle Chuck and my Cousin Mikey whose on Facebook, used to live in Southern California. My family used to go down on an annual trek to Southern Cal to see my Uncle and Cuz. I loved it. California in those days was magical. Palm trees everywhere!  Hot rods driving down the street as numerous as if some giant turned a Hot Rod Magazine upside down and shook out every bitching street rod and custom in it. There they were running around like they had a right to. Man was I in 7th heaven. Then there were all the ice cream trucks. Ice cream three wheel motorcycles, scooters, Norwalk had ‘em all!   I think every aspiring hot rodder had to have at least one beginning car that could get shut down by the ice cream truck. A car so gutless that a lumbering ice cream truck stuffed full of ice cream treats could out accelerate it from a standing start. Hey no foul either! That’s right; you weren’t Jack Shit unless you owned one “lead sled” in your day.  How else could you base your recollection of what was fast and what wasn’t?  My poor Dad was a true hot rodder at heart. He had to drive vehicles that the ice cream truck could shut down by at least a length er two!  Why was that? Because he was married to my Mom, Mary Emma. That’s what Lois and I called Momsy. Mary Emma. Mary Emma, like Daddy-O and all the rest of those in the era, went thru the great Depression. The Great Depression, when everyone was depressed. Yeah I know it was a bad deal, I heard all about it every single day of my life at home. I’d get a load of it at breakfast, and at dinner. I got the spiel when I asked if I could borrow the car before I got my own. It made such an impression on Mary Emma that she never did get over it. Gasoline in those days was a whopping $.29.9 a gallon for regular and the outrageous price os $32.9 for premium. And guess what? It was great gasoline too. Yeah full of all sorts of nasty shit like Tetra Ethyl lead, iso octane, but none of this ethanol shit like today’s gas is riddled with.

    Anyway whenever we got another car (key word here is another, not new) was that it had to pass the ice cream truck test. If the ice cream truck could shut it down it had the Momsy stamp of approval on it. Of course this gave Hugh (Daddy-0) massive indigestion.  He was stuck driving 1958 Ramblers, a company that was brazen enough to plaster the label “Torque Thrust 6” on the air cleaner that sat over the top of this miserable little single barrel carb. This damn motor didn’t make enough torque to pull the ice cream off the top of the cone, much less move a shoe box looking body with bat mobile fins on the back of it. For years American Motors must have had some design engineers there that failed design school and American Motors hired all the flunkies. I’ve never seen a sadder bunch of shitty looking cars than most of the Ramblers were in the 50’s and 60’s. They finally got a decent looking one in 1963.  Lowen Pankey had a really cool one powered by American Motors idea of a small block Chev 327. It outweighed the Chev 327 by probably a hundred or more pounds.

  Okay so back to the cars my poor Dad had to drive. Dad did his best to try to make these economy toilets perform.  You can only flog one of these gutless wonders so far before something checks out on them. I’ve told this story before but it bears repeating. Dad and I were coming home in the Rambler one afternoon. I asked Dad “hey Dad will the Rambler burn rubber?”  “Oh you bet son.” Was his reply. I don’t know why Dad felt he needed to boltster that piece of junk in my eyes but he did nonetheless. So instead of going home we went down by what used to be called in Willamette “The Box Factory” where they made cardboard boxes I guess. Never knew for sure. Well Hugh stopped the car, you could do that in those days because there was only a miniscule amount of traffic as opposed to today’s flow.  This car had a punch button shifter (type writer shift) same as the MOPARs did. So Hugh sticks it into neutral, floors the throttle and waits till the valves are floating and the pistons are swapping holes and then punches it into Low!  A loud bang sounded in the back of the car and it lurched and sort of limped ahead so Dad steered it onto the shoulder. There was no burned rubber just a pile of dirt that fell out of the fender well onto the asphalt. The driver side wheel was tucked up under the fender and no longer attached to the rear axle. It broke off flush with the end of the axle. The only thing holding it onto the car was the brake line and the emergency brake line.  

   “Well shit!” Hugh said and told me to get out of the car. We had to walk home.  On the way he told me “Now don’t tell your Mother what happened here!”  Of course not. We got home and Mary Emma knew the jig was up before Hugh even said a word.  “Where’s the car Hugh?” She asked him. “Well the piece of shit broke an axle and I left the son of a bitch down at the box factory, that’s where the car is.” He told Mary Emma.  “What were you doing down at the box factory?”  She asked him. He ignored the question so Mary Emma stepped up her interrogation one notch. “Hubert (that’s what she called him when she was pissed at him) were you trying to burn rubber with the Rambler?”  Dad was on the phone with the Pankey’s getting a tow truck to haul the Rambler down to the dealership.  So Momsy turned her cross examination on mwah.  “David did your father try to burn out with the Rambler?”  Momsy was pretty hip with the hot rod jargon listening to me and my friends for years on end spouting this mumbo jumbo around the house.  “Ah well no, not really.” I told her.  “Hubert you blew up the Rambler trying to do a burn out didn’t you?”  She told him. He was off the phone with Mr. Pankey now, “well if it wasn’t such a gutless piece of shit it wouldn’t done ‘er.”  He replied.  This launched Momsy off on her Depression spiel all over again and how we couldn’t afford a new axle. Dad told her if we couldn’t afford it then the “piece of shit” would just sit in the shop. That put a sock in Momsy’s mouth. That Rambler was a study in how to hot rod something that would break if you looked at it wrong. Dad and I figgered it out eventually.  

    Mary Emma made Dad buy a 1963 Pontiac Tempest. Yeah this was one of the first new cars we got while I was a teen ager. Of course it was the result of downsizing from a 1964 GTO.Dad loved the GEETOS as they were called. If Mary Emma woulda shut her Depression trap we’da had one too. But we wound up instead with this four cylinder piece of crap that was supposed to be good on gas. It wasn’t. Not even close.  Pontiac gets an A for trying new stuff with engines but it gets an F in engine balancing. When this thing was running it shook like a bear crapping pine cones. No kidding. It was half of a 326 V8. Basically just cut in two sans four cylinders, pistons, connecting rods and crank throws. Of course all this cylinder removal stuff  upset the balance of it like nobody’s business. The air cleaner would move sideways about 6 o 8 inches when the engine was idling. It shook so bad that you had to tighten up the wing nut that held the flippin air cleaner on. Of course removing four cylinders took the power level to an all-time new low. Torque went right out the window with it. If that wasn’t bad enough Pontiac also decided that it needed a transaxle. This was connected to the engine via a flexible drive shaft!  How nice. Not really. This thing was more akin to a long Slinky toy than a real drive shaft.  The car did handle pretty fair but it took it all day to get rolling. Yeah the ice cream truck did a number on this thing and then some.    Dad had given up on trying to hot rod this abomination. It also had these Bonneville Salt Flat gears in the back end of it too. Why they decided to put a high axle ratio in a car that was already compromised by a radical loss of cylinders is beyond me. I guess that’s why I never turned out to be an engineer. I had too much common sense.   I did finally figure out a way to do burn out with the Tempest. I took it out to a place we used to call Horns. Ty Horn and his family lived out there behind this strip of smooth tar coated asphalt. The only car that wouldn’t do a burn out at Horn’s was Tiedeman’s 1953 Buick Straight 8 Dynaflow. I don’t think you could spin the tires on ice with one of those things.  Well to get the Tempest to burn out you had to get it going pretty fast in reverse. How fast? Like about 35 or 40. I’m not kidding. Throw it down into low range and stand on it. It would blow the right rear tire away and if you just held it to the floor in low because it was so tall geared it would pick up the left tire too. It would start smoking like a AA/Fuel dragster and would keep it up until you ran out of road.  Of course these tar burn outs would pick up tar and coat the underside of the fender wells with it and the lower part of the rear quarter panels too. Dad just thought it was a shitty application of undercoating, I never told him otherwise. Mary Emma didn’t know squat and I damn sure never told her.  Momsy used to have this bogus automobile paper route with the Enterprise Courier. It didn’t pay worth a shit and cost more money in wear and tear on the car and gasoline than it was worth. You couldn’t tell the Mary Emma that however.  Momsy had a job and she was “damned glad to get ‘er.” in Hugh’s words.  

    I brought the Tempest back from an exhibition run at Horns Dragway one hot August afternoon. Hugh was home, it was his day off.   I parked the Tempest where Momsy usually parked it and shut it off and it finally dies and quit it’s convulsions and I went into the house. Momsy announced she was leaving for her paper route and asked me if I’d ran all the gas out of the pigmobile. I told her “nah full tank Emma.”  Momsy got in it fired it up and drove around the corner. Got down to the intersection near old man Teds house and blew the transaxle out of it. 

   She comes back to the house in whiney mode and got on Hugh’s case about it. She also cross examined me about the latest pigmobile malfunction. “David what did you do to the Tempest?”  “It was running fine when I brought it home.” Was my standard stand on the 5th amendment reply to Mary Emma’s cross.  “What did you do to it?” I asked her. This brought a laugh from Hugh. “David Proffitt that’s not funny one bit.” “During the depression we didn’t have a car to drive and had to walk 25 miles to school in rain, sleet, snow, tornados and hurricanes. “  Her depression relay had kicked in, after all it was set on “auto mode” so long it was stuck there.     “Well Hubert, what am I gonna drive on the paper route?” she inquired of Daddy-O. “Well I guess yer gonna have to drive the pickup.” He told her. “Jesus Christ Hubert!” she complained.  “Well it serves us right for buyin that piece of shit to begin with (meaning the Tempest.). He told her. She went out and got in the pickup. A nice old 52 Ford Half Ton with a 1952 Merc 255 flat head in it.  Poor Momsy.    When she left Dad came downstairs and called Vic Bowman Pontiac. They came out and picked up the Pigmobile and took it down to the shop. In a couple of days they’d replaced the transaxle under warranty. I guess they had some problems with them anyway, and they damn sure had a problem with Hugh Proffitt’s car as long as Hugh and David were at the wheel.  I remember Vic coming over to Dad and said, “My mechanics tell me they think someone’s been burning rubber with this car, does Dave drive this car?”  “Yeah and so do I.” Dad told Vic. “I’m sorry Hugh but we won’t be able to replace this transaxle again.” Dad told him ok.  That evening we took the pigmobile down on 82nd avenue to Rose City Dodge and got rid of it. Dad finally got the hot rod he wanted. Mary Emma’s depression speech fell on dead ears that night.  Daddy-O bought a cherry 1964 Dodge Polara 500 with a 383 and a four speed. Bucket seats and ya know what no ice cream trucks shut that car down. And I never blew anything up in it either. That’s my story and I’m stickin to it. 

 

Dave