Washing the car with my son

He skipped to the jetwash down the road; I drove the musty Focus, opening the windows for air.

We slid anachronistic coins into the machine, and took turns wrestling with the lance. The bonnet was spattered with colour, a Pollock of bird crap and tree sap.

He sprayed me, laughed at my wet feet; I was glad of relief from the heat reflecting off the car’s black husk.

He learned: wash up, rinse down. I felt like Mr Miyagi. Next we vacuumed up sweet wrappers, stones, leaves.

‘Look,’ he said, showing me his open palm; from the footwell, a seashell.

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