‘I’m Not Your Ally.’

Shutting down the white woman ranting at the carwash

A.J. Bryant
3 min readJun 26, 2024
red car going through automatic car wash full of soap
Photo by Pixabay

The people drying cars outside were all non-white. They were slaving away in the hot sun, drying off luxury cars with shammies. Every once in a while I’d see someone put a cash tip of $5 or ten dollars in their tip jar. But among seven people that’s not going far.

I had waited in line for thirty minutes. I was already in a sour mood because my Kindle wouldn’t open. I purposely left my phone at home, so I had nothing to do but listen to the radio.

Inside I paid and awaited my clean car. I stared outside at the workers from the lounge.

Watching the drying station I wondered how much they were paid. It’s back-breaking labor to climb in and out of cars for hours. It’s difficult to slither in and out of leather interior backseats radiating heat.

But they also contort their bodies to clean wheels or stretch their frames to dry the car roofs. The mere act of keeping your arms above your head and making sweeping motions for extended periods is exhausting. All in the blazing sun while wearing dark-colored uniforms.

They also endure the constant oppressive smell of chemicals. All the while, they are rushing to keep up with the demand. Newly washed cars are consistently driven to the drying station. They…

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A.J. Bryant

Adopted from Kerala. I write about adoption, my intercultural marriage, contemporary India and more. Prawns are my love language.