My Niece and I (Part Three of I Don’t Know How Many Parts [previous parts down below])
We get off the expressway, and now we really are in sooth almost there. At least physically. Sadly, the mall’s parking garage is, this evening, a fully-stock jumbo-car dealership. There’s less outside noise within this clusterphobia-inducing car-park building, so lines of easier vocal communication can now be opened up between me and Chavie.
“What we doing?”
--Looking for a space sweetheart.
--For the Car.
“Oh,” followed by a momentary pause and then a “Why?”
(Here I forget to employ my sister’s ‘trick’).
--Well sweetie, I’d love to drive through the glass pane doors housing Nordstrom and upend Versace-wearing manikins as much as you would (my mental video player turns on and distracts me to a stream of Chavie giggling and clapping as only she can while she joyfully dons a Burberry cap she has taken off a decimated edifice of plaster crafted into the image of the way a woman is supposed to look, people are taking photos all around with their phones [I can’t – mines broken] of my pummeled car as the police close in), but that is not ‘civil’, so instead we are going to drive around in circles for a longer period of time than it took to arrive here, until a 5X9 swatch of concrete opens up for us, okay honey?
She stopped listening to my diatribe (honestly, she’s only three, I should know better than talking to her as if she was three-and-a-half) when I said the word ‘manikin’. She is cracking herself up. She loves the sound of the word and repeats it to herself on an endless loop, the laughter it illicits from her is getting louder and fuller with each repetition of it. Well, I’m happy if she is. Finally, a Hummer lounges out of its space and we are free to roll in. I kill the ignition, readjust my scarf, open my door, get out of the car, close my door, open her door, unbuckle her seat belt and help her (she really only needs a little assistance) out of the car. Her sneakers now firmly planted on grey ground, she promptly asks me something; her face a fully-dimpled smile: “Uncle Ezz, what is man-ee-kun?”
--You’ll see one in just a minute or so, Chav’s…