This particular story revolves around a man by the name of Rex. His house was next door to mine when I was a kid growing up. Rex was a good bit older than I was. If I had to guess I would say that he was probably in his early to mid-thirties. He was hurt in a car accident when he was nineteen years old, breaking his back in three different places. The accident left him as a paraplegic and confined him to a wheelchair. He had been using the wheelchair for quite a long while. You could tell this by how large his biceps and forearms were. Most everyone in the neighborhood knew him because he would be in his chair either on the screen porch or in the front yard tinkering with his van. Living on a short dead end road it seemed that everyone in the hood knew each other.
It was a mild and beautiful Saturday morning. Rex and I were out in the front yard. We were just finishing up washing his van. He was proud of his van, it had a nice paintjob expensive wheels and tires so it turned a lot of heads when it was cleaned up good. I was finishing up detailing the wheels and tires when he said,” hey homo” (Which was his way of being funny, he actually had all the guys on the street calling each other that because he said it so much.) “Do you want to ride up to the store and maybe over to the park, just to see who’s hanging out?” Being I was young didn’t have a set of wheels of my own and it was early Fall on a Saturday too. “Hell yea I do, are you going to let me drive since I worked so hard helping you get this hot rod looking good?” He said, “What?” So I repeated myself. Again he said “What?” I got up from the wheel I was wiping off, walked around the van and got right up in front of him. I said, “are you going to let me drive the van since I worked so hard helping you get this hot rod looking good?” He stuck his arm out and looked at it like he had a watch on, stared at it and then he says,” I’m sorry homo I can’t hear a thing after ten o`clock in the morning.” I just gave him a grin and went to picking up, because I knew that that meant no.
Walking up the road was a friend of mine that was in my class at school. We hung out together a lot. His name was David, and he lived at the end of the road. He had curly short hair, glasses that were always taped together in the middle, and kept a blue bandana folded and around his head like a sweat band. It seemed like that thing got a little dirtier every time you saw him. When he saw us he hopped across the ditch and walked over. He stops when he gets in front of Rex and says,” So, yall washing the van today huh?” Rex don’t even look at him and said,” Nope, we just got out this bucket of suds and a hose and it washed itself.” David didn’t say a word, he just took a puff on his cigarette and smiled while he was staring at the van. Then Rex says to David,” Hey homo, when are you gonna change the oil in that head band you got on man?” Dave takes another long puff on his smoke, looks at it and then drops it to the ground and steps on it twisting his foot back and forth. David looks at me and asked, “Hey Tom how do you put up with Rex’s constant abuse all the time man?” I just shrugged my shoulders and shook my head. David asked me,” What you guys gonna do today?” I said,” I think we