The Continuing Adventures of Mildred and Suzette

By Katie B. Goode

The Road Warriors


lady“Ay!” Mildred yelped as she eased herself into the wraparound leather chair after returning from the ladies’ room.

“What?!” Suzette asked, worried about her old friend.

Mildred winced and pointed into the distance. “See that rusty old car down there?”

Suzette scanned the shoreline of the lake, her eyes resting on a beat-up Chevy parked near the pier.

“That’s me,” Mildred said. “Ready to be sent to the junkyard and parted out.”

As if wanting to ease the trip, Eduardo removed Mildred’s empty margarita glass and replaced it with another, on the rocks.

“Gracias, Dr. Eduardo,” Mildred said. “Medicina.”

Eduardo smiled, flashing his perfect white teeth. He’d thought about being a doctor, but his soul was drawn to art. Maybe he’d paint his gringa ladies someday, dining on the terrace.

“Well, I don’t know… I think you’re a long way from the junkyard,” Suzette said to Mildred, taking a bite of beet, her favorite item from the salad bar.

“Yeah, well, you’ve got to admit that basic maintenance isn’t as easy as it used to be.”

Suzette considered this as a shiny little Miata, top down, pulled in next to the Chevy. “It does take a little longer to get started now. In the old days, I’d crank up the machinery and race her from zero to 60 in nothing flat.”

“Yeah,” said Mildred, nostalgic. “Tank up on a little fuel, cruise all day and night.”

Suzette took the last sip of her margarita, wondering if she should rethink her resolution to stick to just one. “Now I turn the key and the engine moans and groans and just doesn’t want to turn over.”

“I make it out of the carport, but don’t get the mileage I used to,” Mildred sighed.

Suzette tapped her fingers on the table, grooving to a rap beat. “I’ve got sludge in my crankcase and a hiss in my tires.”

Mildred brightened, jiving in her chair. “I’ve got squeaks in my wheels and creaks in my seats.”

“Rust on my bumpers and dust on my dash.”

“Yea, sistah, sistah, I say, we’re coming down the final stretch. We’ve had our day.”

Suzette searched for something to add. “And the bridge is washed out!” she blurted.

“Huh?” Mildred said, shrugging, and then laughing as she fist-bumped with her friend.

Eduardo looked over at the ladies, hoping there wouldn’t be a repeat of last week’s theatrics when they stood and waved their arm flab.

Mildred and Suzette sat back in their chairs, enjoying the gentle breeze coming off the lake, comfortable in the silence as only true friends can be.

“But you’ve got to admit,” Mildred sighed. “We’ve had some interesting pit stops along the way.”

“Some awesome road trips.”

“Yeah, and you know, I’ve still got some rubber to burn on these tires!” Mildred said, patting her rump.

“Not to mention friends to peel out with!”

They laughed, thinking how, although the road had been rough and full of potholes, how lucky they were.

Mildred smiled, looking at Suzette and admiring her for moving to a new country all on her own. “You know,” she said. “I think somewhere along the line you go from being a heap to a classic.”

“Well, if you put it that way, this classic needs some new seat covers. Let’s go shopping!” Suzette said, motioning to Eduardo for the bill..

Mildred did a little shimmy and smiled. “Get out the turtle wax, mama’s goina shine!”

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