I was walking home after having recently moved back to Los Angeles when I ran into an old friend who was waiting at a car wash.
I walked over to say hello and we were both happy to see each other after so many years and equally as surprised to discover that we had both ended up in L.A.
I told him I had some time to kill and offered to help him dry his car off when it came out of the tunnel.
He gladly accepted my offer saying that he actually had both of his cars at the car wash as he was planning on selling the older red one that had already come out.
I thought it was strange that he had two cars at the car wash at the same time and as he was noticeably alone, I couldn’t imagine how he had managed to get both cars there.
As the second, white car emerged from the tunnel, I started drying off the red car. I asked which floor mats were his as there were quite a few hanging on a line to dry.
Noticing that I was surveying the mats hanging there, one of the car wash attendants who was sitting on a chair near the tunnel shouted out while pointing at the mats but I couldn’t hear him above the din of the machinery.
My friend walked over and pointed at a pair of blue mats that sported the Chicago Cubs logo and said those were for the red car.
He said he would have to wait for his wife to get off work so they could drive the cars home together, so I offered to help him out by driving one of the cars back to his house.
He thanked me and said how funny it was that we were both married to women with the same name.
We arrived at his house a little while later and he invited me inside for a cold drink.
He said if I had some extra time, perhaps I would be interested in cleaning his guest house, which was he was going to rent out.
He said he remembered how good of a cleaner I was back in the day when we both worked at the same restaurant in Chicago.
I said I would be delighted to help, but would not accept any money, that it would be my pleasure to lend him a hand.
He left me alone with some cleaning supplies and I began to clean the house with excruciating deail.
When he returned a little while later, he said the guest house was immaculate and offered to drive me back to the valley as a gesture of his appreciation.
Then he said I could take the red car if I wanted to drive myself back home and he could come and pick up the car the next day as he had a potential buyer for it near where I lived.
Unaware he had intended on selling the car, I asked how much he was looking to get for it and he replied 1500 dollars a week.
I was shocked and said for 1500 dolars a week I could stay at the Ritz and have a car and driver.
We both laughed and then the song "The Scientist" by Coldplay started playing on the radio and I told my friend that I listened to the cover by Willie Nelson at least once a day.
Surprised, he asked if it was my favorite song and I then had to explain how I have been watching the film "The Judge" with Robert Downey, Jr. every night for the past five years as it helps me fall asleep and that Willie Nelson performs a cover of the song over the closing credits.
My friend said he was a big fan of Willie Nelson but had never heard the Coldplay cover, so I took out my phone and played it for him while I continued to clean an antique hutch.
Then I woke up.