March 10th 2019: smooth concrete

Twilight Street was where I spent the majority of my summers as a child. I can still smell the fresh cut grass and hear my Aunt’s windchimes alerting us of an impending thunderstorm. Visiting the relatives was my favorite thing to do. There was always something going on at aunt Marilyn and uncle Todd’s house. One of my favorite things to do was play in their garage. You may think that playing in a garage is odd, however this garage was a child’s dream. It had everything a child could conceive: tools, bikes, Powerwheels, remote controlled cars, gadgets, and things to slide on, roll on, and jump.

The garage wasn’t an ordinary garage, for it was much larger than their bungalow nestled safely on top of Twilight Street. The garage was a sacred space, a place where my uncle Todd kept his most precious treasures. The place where my uncle spent most of his days. If you ever wondered where uncle Todd was your best bet was to search the four corners of that wonderful space, as he was most likely tinkering with a car, listening to the radio, or sitting back with a Coors Light in hand.

I can still hear the classic rock blaring from my uncle’s Bose sound system and can see all of his tools perfectly organized and hanging against the walls of this gigantic space. Uncle Todd had an affinity for remote controlled cars. They weren’t just any car, they were the gigantic cars with big wheels that would crush anything that dared to cross its path. I always dreamed of playing with one of those cars. I can vividly remember seeing those cars tucked away high, on top of shelves, almost mocking me because I would never be able to reach them. The cars weren’t the only thing that captivated me and drew me to this space. What struck me the most was the concrete.

I can remember walking into the garage with my bare feet. The concrete felt so smooth under my rough and tattered heels. I would kneel down and run my fingers along the smooth flooring. As I was low to the ground I would take in the smells of oil and fumes from the lawnmower. The smell of gas was familiar and expected. I was so enamored with its smoothness. Never before have I seen concrete like the concrete in uncle Todd’s garage. This concrete was perfect for a litany of activities. Strapping up my Variflex Rollerblades, bright green lining and purple laces I would swish and swoosh through that space. I would fly over that smooth surface as if I were skating on butter. Oh how satisfying it was.

Uncle Todd had an amazing garage with all of the toys a child would dream of playing. For me, it was the smooth concrete that kept bringing me back, again and again.

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