June 30, 1968

On the way to the country club early on a Sunday morning, Izzy is picked up hitchhiking. From the opposite direction comes a 1965 Thunderbird.

I reeled in an old-timer. He remarked that he didn’t see many hitchhikers of a Sunday morning, and I said there weren’t many cars either, so maybe the world was in balance after all. Ahead of us, coming in our direction, was a 1965 Thunderbird, from the generation after Ford had begun stretching the model out. The driver’s left elbow was resting out the window. The T-Bird came at us fast and as we drew close the driver glanced in our direction and flicked a cigarette with his right hand, across his body, in our general direction, then flew on behind us.

“Sumbitch,” my ride muttered, automatically, as if he wasn’t thinking hard about it. I whirled around and saw the T-Bird, light blue with a white top, zoom away. There was no trace of a fin, just two wide banks of lights that narrowed over the license plate, with a scoop up the middle of the trunk.

The flick seemed intentional, a littering of opportunity. He may have seen us from a distance, as I had noticed him, and perhaps on a whim decided to shoot his cigarette butt at us.

The old guy who picked me up had a low opinion of golfers, and he didn’t mind sharing this with me. I couldn’t tell exactly whether he was putting me down for being part of the time-wasting, self-indulgent sect of golf, or whether he thought that I, as a caddy, must have shared his views. It turned out he wasn’t too fond of hippies, blacks, women’s libbers and homos.

In an abundance of caution, I did not bring up the Boy Scouts nor confess that I was a poverty protester who had escaped police custody and was in grave danger of enjoying modern poetry.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *