Bumper Sticker

Bumper Sticker

A Story by Fetish Ewing
"

An encounter with a woman, and her family, whom I am familiar with outside of our usual, seedy setting.

"

I had parked into one of the aisles of the Wal-Mart parking lot. I needed a new auxiliary cord, for my car, to listen to my Google.Play.Music selection because my other one had burned out in the sweltering Georgia spring heat. As I slid out of my car and began to walk towards the static looking Wal-Mart entrance, amass with overweight locals donning their myriad, telling, Haynes-brand volunteer t-shirts; scraggly, brittle hair and dirty, worn-down flip-flops, something caught my attention from the corner of my eye across the way. When I turned my head to fully take in what caught my eye, I found that what I was looking at was a multi-colored bumper sticker attached to the left-side of the back-end of a weathered, crimson-detailed Chevy Aveo. The bumper sticker, in time with the condition of the Aveo, looked pretty weathered as well. Even from fifteen feet away I could see the white cracks, the result of being exposed to one too many downpours, I imagined, routing in between the bright pastel of the primary colors neatly stretched in a row that made up the whole of the bumper sticker.

Piquing my interest, I stopped moving forward towards the Wal-Mart entrance and crossed the street to get a better look. As I got closer, I could see that the sticker was peeling on the top right corner. It was early May; I didn’t know how old the bumper sticker was but I figured, by the look of it, it wasn’t going to last the summer. Soon, somehow, I was standing right behind the Aveo, looking at the bumper sticker as if I was in a trance. For that moment I allowed myself to not feel self-conscious about this public, unorthodox, act of innocent, genuine curiosity. “I’m not doing anything wrong,” I reasoned.

It hardly took a second for me to realize that there were words printed on the bumper sticker. As I crouched down, my face five or six inches from the Aveo’s bumper and squinting my eyes in furrowed concentration, I began to separate the whites of the printed text of the bumper sticker from the white cracks that ran across it, nearly making the print illegible. As I pieced together the broken text, I finally was able to piece together that, once upon a time, the bumper sticker read, in big, bold text, “GOD LOVES GAYS, TOO!” I cracked a secret, appreciative smile. “Cool,” I murmured under my breath.

As I got back on my feet, I heard the familiar fret of an infant. I casually looked around the vicinity of the immediate parking lot to see if anyone was watching me. Surprisingly, even sans infant, I was alone in the parking lot. As I turned my head back to give the bumper sticker a quick nod of approval before I went on my way, something in the back seat of the Aveo caught my eye. My heart skipped a beat. In the back seat of the weathered, crimson Chevy Aveo peaked the top handle of a portable baby crib, from which hung a small mobile of four gentle stuffed animals, each attached to yellow strings.

Keeping my cool, but acting on human responsibility, I skipped over to the side of the car where I could get a better look at the inside of the backseat. As I looked inside, hand pressed on the hot window, I saw a small, pudgy foot hanging securely from the baby crib, yet the seatbelt was halfway hanging out of sight and into the darkness in the shadows of the Aveo floor. Without thinking, I grabbed the back door handle and pulled. My heart thudded as the handle let out a divine pop and swung open. As I dove into the backseat of the Aveo and put my hand around the baby’s middle and lightly shook I let out a puff of air, “Aughhah?” of panic and confusion, breathing out the sour smell of hot milk and used diaper. The baby’s middle was - hard. I lightly squeezed the baby’s middle. There was no give at all. I cocked my head closer to the baby and looked into the lidless, bright hazel eyes of a baby doll. Quietly, I crawled backwards out of the car, my hands crushing empty baby bottles and a storybook, The Pokey Little Puppy, into the hot, fuzzy cushion of the back seat.

“I had just about had it with this damn car,” I thought to myself as I grudgingly straightened out my mustard designer Express t-shirt and brushed off the confectionary crumbs, that I had dragged out with me, pinched in between the rivets of my knees. I pivoted and hooked my hand onto the open door to close it lightly because, now with all business done with this Aveo, my paranoia of being caught sunk in - especially so now that I had violated so much of someone else’s property. I choked an incredulous laugh at myself and slammed the door close. The door connected with a rapt, hollow THUNK.

“Hey!” A voice reverbed in time with the Aveo door slamming. If not for my paranoia I wouldn’t have noticed it. I jumped and swung my head, panicked, every which way. I immediately homed in on a tall, muscular black man quickly striding toward me from the Wal-Mart entrance. His smooth, bald head reflected the blinding sunlight, making it hard to directly make out the furious, stretched expression on his sharp face, yet even a glimpse was enough for me to pray that he would give me a chance to explain myself. “What are you doing to my car, motherfucka!?” he yelled, quickly jabbing his finger in my direction. As he descended towards me, I noticed that he was being followed a ways back by, what I assumed, to be his family. From my periphery, I could make out a black woman in a loud, floral-patterned summer dress holding an infant supported at her chest in one arm and what looked like four sagging Wal-Mart bags swinging together, crashing into each other nonchalantly, in the other. A little daughter, who reached up to about the mother’s hip, jogged to keep at the mothers side. I could make out the bright yellow Crocs that she was bounding on, fists curled as if she was striding in a marathon.

I knew that if I stayed where I was, frozen, I would automatically look guilty. If I was bold enough to approach him there would be a good chance that he would give me the benefit of the doubt in letting me explain how much of a misunderstanding this situation was.. I stepped out from behind the Aveo, which halfway blocked us from each other, and calmly took a few steps towards his brisk descension, rubbing any expression out of my face. The man was sporting a plain grey v-neck and well-fitting pants; through his anger, I could read, I hoped, anyway, that he would hear me out as long as I didn’t seem threatening.

When we finally met, a foot of craggly, black concrete the only thing between us, the man puffed out his chest and gave me a quick up-and-down, communicating that he was sizing me up, that he was ready for a fight. “So, what’s up?” he belted. He lifted his arms to his sides, palms expanded. “Whatchoo doing in my car?” His eyes bugged and he hung his mouth open, panting; dramatizing an air of aggression. I wasn’t bothered. I didn’t say anything. I blinked a couple of times, and glanced back at his Chevy Aveo intently, but briefly. I looked back at him and blinked a couple time, licked my lips and inhaled, signalling that I was going to explain. This “show” of mine communicated that the ball was in his court. He recognized this and began to wind himself down. His arms, still raised at his side, descended minutely. His chest deflated and he took a step back.

Before I could say anything, though, his wife’s voice, behind him, spoke up. “Oh my god.” I could hear her a certain... something in her voice, but I couldn’t tell what. “Baby, I know him.” I looked behind the man as he cocked his head quickly to acknowledge her and turned back at me, eye cocked. I stared at the wife for a quick moment and it hit me. “Oh my god, hi!” I beamed at her. I held my hand up extended toward her, palm up, as if I was presenting her. “How are you!?” She rolled her eyes and buried her face in her infant son’s chest. She quickly looked back up and gave an embarrassed smile. “Hey...” Through her dark complexion I could tell that she was blushing.

“Nicole’s” husband’s face slackened into that of dumbfounded confusion. He didn’t know what to make of this, but he was still staring at me, waiting for an explanation. I gave “Nicole” a subtle, knowing nod, turned back to him and smiled, eyes alight. “We’ve been to the same parties a long time ago -” “He knows me from the club,” “Nicole” interjected. I glanced at her. She was leaning on one of her hips, lips pursed, eyes turned upward and shaking her head. She gave a deep, exasperated inhale as she bounced her son in her arm. She kept her other arm still; it was being weighed down by the contents in her bags. I cocked my eyebrow and bobbed my head to the side, acknowledging, as I cracked a side-grin. I let out a small, amused grunt. Her husband was still staring at me, still dumbfounded. I took a small sidestep and held my hand out again, presentingly, and said apologetically, “Hey, I’m so sorry about your car. I thought I heard a baby cry and I saw the baby mobile in your backseat and I thought the doll in it was a real baby I’m so sorry...” I gave an exasperated laugh and looked at her husband again, then back at her, to show them that this whole situation was all a big, funny misunderstanding. Awkwardly, I raised my hand behind the back of my head and scratched a spot; a nervous tick.

“Nicole” shook her head and laughed uncomfortably. “It’s okay,” she said, trying to avoid eye contact with me. She shook her head again. As she did, her flowery summer dress, full of pastel pinks, blues, yellows and oranges, shook attractively around her frame. Her daughter was staring at the ground. She was holding one of her pigtails and was moving it rapidly, watching the shadow follow her direction; maybe she was creating a shadow figure, like an animal. “I really like your dress,” I nodded to “Nicole.” “Nicole” smiled automatically and, turning her head, gave a small gulp. I knew instantly that I had said the wrong thing.

I swung my fists together and bounced them off of each other, and inhaled. “Well, hey,” I said, “I’m so sorry again.” I spread my hands out to my sides and chuckled. “Nicole” moved forward and nudged her husband, who raised his eyebrows, relieved, and nodded his head genially. He gave a pursed-lipped smile and nodded at me as the family moved passed me and towards their car. I quickly spun around and pointed at “Nicole’s” husband. “Oh!” He turned, curious. “Nice bumper sticker, by the way. Thank you.” I nodded approvingly. “Really, thank you.” Nicole’s” husband smirked and cocked his head quizzically. He pointed, underhandedly, at me and began, “Are you...” He paused, waiting for me to get the message. I immediately knew what he was asking. I chuckled. “Yeah, I am.” He grinned and lifted his head in acknowledgement. “Ahh!” He said. He shook his head in faux exasperation and said,”Hey man, peoples are peoples, you know?” He held out his arms again, as if to say “what can do you?” I smiled at him and tipped my head towards him. “You’re good peoples.” He nodded as he took steps toward the driver’s side of his car while “Nicole” set her kids in the backseat. Outside of my vantage point, I could see her securing her infant son in the babyseat. “Nicole’s” husband gave me a final nod and I saw him disappear in the driver’s seat. There was a moment’s pause, then the Aveo revved to life.

I took a few steps back, hands in pockets, and began to turn around again when I heard “Nicole’s” voice call after me. “I gonna see you Saturday?” I whirled around and “Nicole” was standing in between an open passenger side door and the car, smiling expectantly, knowingly, at me. I caught an air of coyness in her voice. I perked my eyebrows up, let out a familial laugh and, considering it for a second, nodded. “Yeah, probably. I mean, where else do I go on the weekend?” “Nicole” shook her head, her smile verging on breaking into a grin. She raised her hand up, saying goodbye, and, with the ruffle of about four Wal-Mart bags she was carrying, slipped into the passenger side. As they pulled out and drove down the parking lot towards the Wal-Mart entrance I looked over as they passed me on my way towards it. Her husband gave me another genial nod, and “Nicole” waved, smiling bashfully. Their children were facing forward, brows furrowed; lost in their own little worlds. I waved back and gave a friendly wink. They turned the corner, after letting a couple pedestrians walk past in their way, and disappeared.

Beautiful family, I thought to myself.

© 2013 Fetish Ewing


My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register




Reviews

It was very interesting Lavon. I really liked the imagery you displayed, and the characters were excellently developed. I can't tell from your name if you're a man or a female, and I'm not sure if you're homosexual either, but it doesnt matter to me; you're still a fellow writer. I went ahead and did some editing and proofreading. I will send you a message. I really enjoyed it; you write splendidly. Thanks for sharing.

Posted 6 Years Ago



Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

402 Views
1 Review
Rating
Added on June 18, 2013
Last Updated on June 18, 2013
Tags: Bumper Sticker, Gay, Black, Aveo, Family, Stripper, Dancer, Club, Wal-Mart, Mobile, Baby, Google, Auxiliary

Author

Fetish Ewing
Fetish Ewing

Savannah, GA



About
Hi, Please, check out my work. I'm an extreme extrovert, but I also value my "me" time. I'm the kind of person you don't need to feel bad for if you see me shopping or going to the theater by mysel.. more..

Writing
Friends Friends

A Story by Fetish Ewing


Prelude Prelude

A Chapter by Fetish Ewing