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Scraping off the Snow - cellophane
the story of an invisible girl
renniekins
renniekins
Scraping off the Snow
Today's the first "real snow" we've had this winter. I'm calling it Real, because I had to brush off my car when I left work today. We've had a liberal dusting when I was in Cleveland, but not enough that I had to brush my car off. (Although I did have to roll down my windows and run my windshield wipers before I could see well.)

Anyway, snow! Winter! It's very pretty, but brushing off the vehicle is always a pain. I'm not capable of doing it without getting snow all over me, for one thing. And it gets in my shoes, and sometimes up my sleeves. I end up cold and a little damp for the drive home.

Brushing off my car reminded me of a fun story though. It has to have been about, gosh, ten years ago now! I was programming at NWS, on the eleventh floor of a building. I shared a cubicle with Milkey, and Fred was just one cube over. Our cube had a window, and he would often join us to look out the window.

One winter day, we had a huge snowfall in the afternoon. We stared out the window, watching about five or six inches slowly accumulating in the parking lot, all over our cars. It was fun watching out the window, but none of us was very happy about the idea of brushing the stuff our cars!

Milkey was the instigator, I'm sure of it. She always was. I was quiet and innocent, but she was quite the Weasel Queen. Actually our boss called us both the Weasel Queens, but it was all because of her weaseling ability of course.

Fred was scheduled to leave an hour before us, for some reason. "It would be great if you'd brush off our cars, while you're down there," she suggested. It was still awhile before he had to leave, but we were all watching the snow.

I added, "That'd be awfully swell of you, since you have boots and we don't. Our feet will get soaked in these girlie little shoes."

He laughed and refused. "No way, you ladies are going to have to brush your own cars."

We returned to our desks. I remarked thoughtfully to Milkey, "It's going to be hard, wading through all that snow. Then all that brushing, above my head. I bet it's easier for tall people than for us."

A voice came over the cubicle wall, "I'm not brushing your cars off for you!"

An hour later we were gazing out the window again, watching the huge flakes still falling, and Milkey was pointing out her car to him. Just in case. "It's the green one, three cars in, with all the heavy snow on it. If only a somebody big and strong were to clean the snow off, it'd be so much easier to drive home."

Eleven floors up, all of the snow-whitened cars looked much the same. I squinted and tried to remember where I'd parked. "My car's two lanes over, the little purple one on the end," I said quickly. "You can't just do her car, you'll have to do both. It's only fair."

He rolled his eyes. "Sure sure, whatever you say. It's not going to happen."

"But you're leaving early! You have to make up for it somehow."

"I have an appointment, that's why I have to leave early. That's why I don't have time to do your cars!"

Soon it was time for Fred to go. He started to bundle up against the blizzard. As he dressed, I exclaimed, "You have gloves?! I don't have gloves, do you have gloves Milkey?"

"Just flimsey knit ones. They'll be soaked in minutes."

He shook his head at us, and started to leave. "Don't forget, the green one, three cars in!" "Purple car, two lanes over, on the end!" We were both pointing eagerly in the general direction of our cars.

He waved one gloved hand at us and grinned. "It ain't gonna happen, ya know." We waved back forlornly, each doing our best puppy dog face.

Then we returned to the window to watch him emerge. He came tromping through the ankle-deep snow, dress pants tucked into boots, black wool coat flying only partly-fastened, waving like a cape behind him. He found his van, climbed in, and emerged clutching his car-scraper like a weapon. He then proceeded to carefully clean the snow off his windows.

While he worked, we speculated. "I think he's going to do it," said Milkey.

"I don't know... He didn't seem too interested in the idea, and he did have an appointment to get to."

"He'll do it. He's too much of a nice guy underneath."

He was nearly done, and we were admiring his work. "Wow, he got almost ALL the snow off. You can hardly tell it's been snowed on. Look how he's even doing the headlights. He's very thorough!"

Then he stopped, and looked up at the eleventh floor. He could see us, standing silhouetted in front of the window. His black coat had white shoulders from the snowfall, his necktie was popping out of the top, and his orange hair was rumpled.

Snow-scraper still in one hand, he opened his arms wide, hands out, and raised his shoulders questioningly.

We both froze. He was going to do it?? Then we started jumping up and down and pointing in the direction of Milkey's car. He began walking, tromping through the snow, pointing at cars with his scraper, and looking at us for confirmation. We quickly realized that small gestures were invisible from that height, and simple pointing wasn't enough. He could only see our outlines. We had to wave our arms above our heads, playing an elaborately mimed game of "hot or cold", to get him to the correct car.

When he found it, we both clapped dramatically over our heads as if we were at a rock concert. He proceeded to brush the snow off Milkey's car. He wasn't quite as thorough as he'd been with his own car, but he still did an impressive job. His long arms were perfect for reaching across the whole roof of the car.

"I hardly ever brush off my roof, do you?" I asked Milkey.

"Only sometimes."

"He's doing a better job than we would!"

When he finished, and turned again to his audience, there was more exaggerated clapping. Then he started pointing with his scraper again, and we mimed "hot or cold" to get him over to my car. He did an equally decent job on my car, then bowed to his standing ovation and blown kisses from the upper seats. Then he trudged back to his car and drove away.

After explaining to our confused coworkers why we had just been performing Walk Like An Egyptian in the windows, Milkey and I went back to work with big smiles on our faces. An hour later I picked my way through the snow on my high heels, skirt, and cold legs, cursing once again our ridiculous dress code. I grinned upon find my car with Fred's footprints all around it. I had almost an inch of snow back on it, because the snow hadn't stopped. But all it took was a comparatively quick brushing -- waaaay easier than the miserably cold and wet task I would have faced otherwise.

What a sweet guy, our savior! And I'll never forget standing in the window, trying to figure out gestures that were broad and meaningful enough from eleven stories up to direct him to my car. Too fun!

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Comments
thatguychuck From: thatguychuck Date: November 24th, 2005 06:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Laugh! I love it!
ellison From: ellison Date: November 24th, 2005 08:56 am (UTC) (Link)
That's a great story!
nishar From: nishar Date: November 24th, 2005 12:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
No one could resist your sad puppy dog face. hehe
devnul From: devnul Date: November 24th, 2005 01:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent story! Quiet and innocent ... sure! ;)

I think your snow showed up here — I have what looks like just enough to want to brush instead of just running the wipers. I am not one of those people who just scrapes a hole to see out of and leaves the rest of the windows covered with snow.

The last time I tried to surprise someone by brushing off her car, I set off her car alarm. No good deed goes unpunished, especially at 7am. :)

Have a great day!
simplykimberly From: simplykimberly Date: November 27th, 2005 03:50 am (UTC) (Link)
oh, that is a truly fabulous story!!! I hope he also remembers the whole thing, fondly! If you have a way of contacting him, you should send him the story! :) Thanks for sharing!
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