The Cadillac Gift Shop

I pulled beans from the dirt this morning, before the storm arrived. I set them in in a bright orange tub of water. The early hours slink away like possums with needle-toothed grins, proud of their cunning. I’m late for work.

My hands are muddy from the dew, and my hair is matted from sleep sweat.

My ‘76 Datsun, low on gas, is a old man’s car, copper and rust, with a radiator that overheats, but it takes me to the promised land of the Cadillac Gift Shop.

The rabbit-eyed contraltos are posing at the counter when I arrive, and they cradle their Stella McCartney clutches like they were designer babies. Their Big Daddies stroke Platinum MasterCards with round pink thumbs.  They match the Escalades with their shoes, white for casual, black for special, maybe an ATS-V Coupe for the hell of it, can we, sweetie?

We have baubles and shiny things for sale, and they aren’t cheap, but they are worthless. How about a key ring, 18 carats, or a crystal snow globe autographed by Kanye, koveted by Kim, or look here, a digital (platinum!) rectal thermometer for that Affenpinscher you store at the kennel.

Yes, there is dirt under my nails, and I could use a haircut, but all is well unless somebody pouts. But no one notices, because I’m not shiny, and I fade under the pink track lighting. No one ever saw the grimy work crew of the Yellow Brick Road and no one ever sees the man behind the counter of the Cadillac Gift Shop.

I work with the conviction of an insomniac, and think in soft colors on hard steel. Mr. Robinson appreciates my work ethic and every payday he pats my head as if I were a stray border collie. I am like the son whose name he never remembers.

He is in the trunk of my Datsun right now.

A supermodel’s mother asks me about the Ethan Murrow table setting.  Her peasant blouse was hand-stitched in Portugal and her voice is like Meryl Streep and gin.

I have fresh beans waiting for me for supper.

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29 thoughts on “The Cadillac Gift Shop

  1. Wow. Another one where I want to comment on every line. “The early hours slink away like possums with needle-toothed grins, proud of their cunning.” This is what I’m talking about when I rave about your imagery. And you just slide in there at Mr. Robinson is in the trunk! OMG! Loved it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Brilliant once again! And Peach took the words right out of my mouth lol. Mr Robinson in the trunk!!! AND yes, the your imagery is PERFECT! ” I work with the conviction of an insomniac, and think in soft colors on hard steel.” Loved that line as well!!! You truly are gifted Steven! What a treat!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My favorite line: “We have baubles and shiny things for sale, and they aren’t cheap, but they are worthless.” Isn’t that true of so much of what we buy and sell in this Kardashian klimate?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. All the high-tech crap we own may be (arguably) making our lives more convenient, but none of it seems to be making us any happier. If anything, it’s making us all a little crazy — putting us in a state of what media theorist Douglas Rushkoff terms “present shock.” Nice and simple, it seems to me, is underrated.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “Present shock” is a good term for it. I’m not a Luddite by any means, and I do enjoy working on a laptop rather than a typewriter, and my Kindle gives me a library I can carry around in my back pocket. Other than that, it’s pretty simple. My work life, on the other hand, mentally exhausts me with the ever-changing technology.

        Liked by 1 person

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