Dispatches

Revving

Shelley Kozlowski

A ball-busting monster-truck-rally sound

One morning when I left my apartment, walked outside and made for the back of the building, I heard the rhmmm-rhmmm-rhmm of an engine, coming from the parking lot. It was the big sort of rhmmm-rhmmm you hear at demolition derbies and ball-busting monster truck rallies. It was loud. Who could be sitting in their car, revving the engine? I thought of the guy who lived upstairs, who had once asked me to mend a hole in the crotch of his pants because his girlfriend didn’t know how to sew. He held up the pants at eye level, poked his finger through and wiggled it. I thought of the old bachelor from Winnipeg, who lived across the lane and worked at the same company where I worked. Sometimes he came to the office smelling of women’s perfume; he said, “If it’s on the towel, it’s on me.” He wanted to work for CSIS but they kept turning him down. I thought of the guy who lived down the street and who I had gone out with a couple of times, but I broke it off because of the photo of his friend’s wife giving birth, which he had hung in the kitchen. His name was Claude, and he didn’t like it when I pronounced his name “clod”; I had to say “clode.” Any one of these guys could be sitting in the parking lot revving their engine, mad about something and taking it out on their car. I was still wondering who the perp was when I rounded the corner and saw my ’67 Ford Falcon sitting alone in the lot, rocking from side to side with each rev. There was nobody behind the wheel. The car doors were locked. I waved at a man who was watching from a balcony from across the lane. I unlocked the door, sat in the driver’s seat, inserted my key into the ignition and tried to shut the car off. It wouldn’t stop revving. I got out of the car and waved at the man again. He came downstairs and disconnected my battery for me.

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Shelley Kozlowski

Shelley Kozlowski is a student of writing who wishes she had been able to keep the Falcon and now knows the importance of oil changes. She lives in Vancouver.


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