Steve M. calls me “General.”
He says, “General, I saw your wife last night. She was big and bright. Foxy and hot. Drivin’ round in that Caddy El Dorado.”
“She still have that car?”
Steve laughs and says, “Oh, yeah.”
We are on the front porch of the Alano Clubhouse. It’s raining and, though there is a makeshift roof over the porch, the rails and trash can are covered with droplets of water.
Steve reaches down into the can, tosses through the garbage and pulls out a bar of Dial brand soap. He peels away its soggy wrapper and says, “Look what I have for you.”
Then he starts singing, “Happy Birthday to you.”
He wants to go to church “coz it’s Easter.”
I give him a ride. I go back to the clubhouse and catch the rest of the meeting.
Now, I’m back at the church. A redheaded, 20 something, woman holding an umbrella knocks on my door. I roll down the window and she says, “Could you shore up your parking? You’re taking up two spaces.”
I say, “Sure.” Then, I say, “I’m here to pick up my friend.”
“Okay. I’ll let him know you’re here. What’s his name what’s he look like?”
“His name is Steve Martin. He’s about 5’8″, has a three day growth of beard, wearing several layers of shirts and two pairs of beige pants.”
“Is he wearing a coat?”
“A blue wind breaker. He’s very, very thin.”
She says, “I’ll see what I can do.”
“Thanks,” I say.
I shore up my parking and wait.
The red headed woman doesn’t return and Steve is either gone or blends in with this “in their Easter best” crowd remarkably well.
After waiting through two services, I leave.
I pull into the clubhouse parking lot to find Steve standing on the porch. He sees me and genuflects. He waves, gives me a toothless smile and says, “Where you been, General? I’ve been waiting for ya.”