Rite of Purification At Blue Wave Or, Alarms Blare As Sacred Cow Gets Bath (Forgive Me).

19 May

Before I rolled into LA last January, I stopped in Arizona to get my oil changed; the guys at Lube Up asked where I was headed.
“L.A.!!!” I yelled, with on-the-road-alone delirium.

“You cannot drive into L.A. looking like that,” the handsome stocky oil man said grimly. Fortunately he was talking about my car–at least that’s where his finger pointed. The Pruis had been through two snow storms, the dust bowl, and a couple psychic breaks. My girl looked her age.

I followed his advice and got Little Sister all gussied up; she didn’t look like Beverly Hills exactly, but she looked like good clean fun–which was perfect for driving down Santa Monica and singing Sheryl Crow.

So fifteen months later, I have a job as a personal assistant, and part of my responsibilities include driving Madame around and I couldn’t let that happen until the Prius looked and smelled better than she did. I’d had the car cleaned twice since moving here–in LA LA ethos, that’s like sending your un-toilet trained toddler to pre-school without a diaper. It’s neglectful to the point of abuse, it’s disgusting, and it could be a sign of a psychotic break. (Why does that keep coming up?) Or, simply a sign of the devil.

In L.A., the semiotics are simple: Your Car, Your Child. Or: Your Car, Your Mother. Or Your Moral Worth. Or: the Size Of Your Male Organ. At any rate: OUR AUTOS, OUR SELVES.

Back on the Santa Monica Boulevard, I found the BLUE WAVE CAR WASH and pulled in, only to be dazzled by the options.
car wash signs

And the prices. I won’t say what I got, but suffice to say it cost me what I get paid for quite a few hours of work. Duty called, I answered. And no one would accuse the Pruis of being trash or ungodly. I am what I am; leave my car out of it.

The Blue Wave Car Wash is actually shaped and painted like a wave, graced by the most scraggly palm trees I’ve ever seen.

car wash dying palm trees

That The Blue Wave has its own gift shop more than makes up for its riffraff plant life.

car wash gift store

Who doesn’t want, while waiting for the car to be cleaned, to buy some potpourri and funny cat figurines? I’ll admit that, far more seductive to me was the taco truck.

car wash taco trunk

The Blue Wave has an outdoor waiting area.

car wash sitting area
Where there are ads reminding you of all the other things in your life that need attending to.
carwash ads

While your car is transmogrified, you can find out where to find a new surfboard, DUI lawyer, and drug counselor.
I sat down in a big comfy black faux-leather chair, spilling salsa onto the seat, and dropping jalapeños down its cracks. It was a few minutes before I saw the signs on the wall alerting me to the fact that this was a massage chair, and unless I was paying to plunk myself down there (not to mention whipping up jalapeño puree in the chair’s pillows), an alarm would go off.

car wash chair alarm

Hence the terribly loud WAHN WAHN WAHN that had been blaring just about the same amount of time I’d been wolfing the taco in my comfy seat. I jumped to standing attention, looking as innocent as it is possible for a woman with a filthy car and salsa on her chin.
But, low,and behold!

car wash guy washing my car

But by now the Prius wasn’t filthy; she was Renewed! She preened under this man’s TLC. She made up for my salsa, my sins.
Nevertheless, I remembered Sheryl’s lyrics:
This ain’t no disco
This ain’t no country club either, this is L.A.
And the girls just wanna have some fun, by sittin’ around
Drinking beer at noon on a Tuesday with an ugly guy named Billy
In a bar next to a Car Wash on Santa Monica Boulevard.

In a few minutes, I got into my pristine and lemon-fresh automobile. I cast a brief glance around for Ugly Billy…and then headed home. Car cleaned! Conscience clear! Mostly. At least (I hoped) no one would spot the psychic breaks and spiritual slips under the tire dressing, clay wax, and air freshener. About the jalapeños, I am truly sorry.


13 Responses to “Rite of Purification At Blue Wave Or, Alarms Blare As Sacred Cow Gets Bath (Forgive Me).”

  1. Nick May 19, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    Having read this LA LA coined piece and having enjoyed almost every bite why oh why am I hung up on a time/place issue. Know what? Forget my problems. I read it a few more times and my puzzling issues resolved them sad selves and I can say each reading added new layers of brilliance to my otherwise crumpled old mind. Thanks again, (insert smiley face)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. elainemansfield May 19, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

    LA sparks your sense of humor, Kirsten. Don’t you sometimes miss those flooded, put-the-quarters-in-the-slot, you’d-better-have-change, 2-3 buck car washes where you splatter yourself with salty filth? I didn’t think so. What does a personal assistant do besides drive? Keep dancing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • kwasson2012 May 20, 2014 at 2:59 am #

      It does, Elaine! L.A. never feels entirely real, and I guess I like that! Don’t have to grow up. Oh Dear.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. robinbot May 20, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

    Personal assistant? I missed something somewhere – that’s great! Just thinking about driving in LA gives me jitters. Driving my boss? That would do me in. But you don’t let any of this bother you for long. A true adventurer. Sally on. This has been so much fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • kwasson2012 May 20, 2014 at 11:11 pm #

      Personal Assistant is one my new titles, along with Corporate Blogger, Assistant Director of Sales at an online Arts Journal, Events planner, and All Around Jacqueline OF All Trades and Master Of None. I don’t know what is happening, but at least there are taco trucks every step of the way!

      Liked by 1 person

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