Ford put the car in gear


He hit the steering wheel a few times with his left hand. He wished he’d
put on his right hand. That would make the work a little easier. He hated
waving his arms around, especially in this weather.

There it was. The light was blinking and he pulled over. The rain had
pretty much stopped. There was a little moisture in the air and Ford didn’t
mind that. He kept his eyes on the road. There were so many times where even
he didn’t know the road much better than his wife did. He’d heard of drivers
doing their own wheel work, but he’d never tried it. When he took the wheel,
he’d usually let his wife do it. Her logic was sound, he thought. She’d
give him a few pointers before he put it in gear. The car looked good. He
looked at the color. Not as brown as it had looked when they got it, but it
was still a good color. They’d had to order it from the dealership. That
was part of the reason for the delay. Ford didn’t really want a
yellow car – he liked red. He’d always thought that it was a little ugly,
but it was practical. People like yellow cars because they’re faster than
other colors. Also because yellow turns into green in the sun. Ford always
looked at the color of the sky first. He never looked at the color of the
clouds until he was sure the yellow was safe. Maybe he should get himself
an all-weather blue. No – he wouldn’t have to wear a sunblock while driving.

Ford had a few people waiting in his office. He usually met them in
his office, so they’d never find him there. As he drove up to his office,
he thought about the women. He’d like to find someone that he could
put his arm around and tell her how wonderful she was, how wonderful she made
his life out of nothing. Would that be an attractive woman? he wondered
when he found himself with a pretty girl. Ford always saw the other person
first. Of course it wouldn’t hurt to get to know the pretty girl he had
met today. But he’d never let himself get close enough to let her see his
handprint across her body.

There was no way he could see himself as a good pimp. Maybe when he was a
little older, he could convince his mother that he needed more money. He
could come into his own. He could be his own man. Then he could go home
to his wife, cook for her, and not do some stupid thing like go to the
movies with the boys, like he had in the past. He could go home to his wife,
and put on his pants and not put them in the washing machine. What could be
more normal than that? Ford didn’t want to be a freak. But he did want
to take his wife out some other time. With that kind of freedom, he would
be better off than he was now. No more running from his wife. They could
get on with their lives. Ford did not want to be like his father. He did not
want to be like the other men in his family. But the other men in his family
still had his money. Their parents just thought they did better without it.
Ford’s father wanted Ford’s inheritance, but not his son. Ford felt like
he’d had his share of being a man because his father would let him stay at
home, even though he had been a failure. He’d had all the opportunities.
Ford had just been smart. But he never felt like he was a man, like
he should be, because his father had left his son with two hundred acres
of wheat land for him to use. Ford’s father wanted Ford to be a farmer.
When Ford got up in the morning, he expected that his father would be there
with a hoe and a rake. He wanted to grow things. He loved farming. He
liked to be by himself. He liked to weed a whole field of wheat, weed a
field that was a little higher than normal, and then weed the field back
down. He liked to put the weeds in a big pile, and then he could put
enough cornstalks over them so that the weeds only got a little bit of
water. In the fall, he would pull the weeds out, and weed the cornstalks,
then plant all the cornstalks. That would be the year Ford’s father would
get the whole field.

His father had left Ford with two hundred acres of wheat land. Ford was
just smart enough to know that he wasn’t going to farm it. Ford was
just smart enough to know that farming could be made into a good career,
but Ford had wanted to be a farmer only when he got a better school. Ford
didn’t want to tell his mother that he wanted to go to the University of
Minnesota. He didn’t have the money. He would have to take out loans. Ford
wanted to study architecture. He knew that architecture was not going to be
any good, but he wanted to get a degree just for the sake of getting out of
school and getting a degree. That’s what he’d told his mother when she
asked him about it. She always thought he was just being stubborn. It was
true he wanted to take out loans until he could save up enough, but that
wasn’t the reason why he wanted to go to the University of Minnesota.

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