I just finished mowing. Literally, I am still soaked with a combination of sweat and cold hose-water.
I just love it. Five years ago, my very first column was an ode to the joys of cutting the grass. It is enforced aloneness with myself. And am I the only one that has an almost constant commentary running through their head?
Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, but I think in complete sentences. When I cook, I have a cooking show up there. Put me in front of a camera and I’d forget how to make a PBJ. But in my kitchen, all by myself, I am as funny and knowledgeable as Alton Brown, as experienced and charming as Julia Child, and as bewitching and effortlessly chic as Nigella Lawson.
When I mow, I have odd little daydreams, think “great” thoughts, and write columns in my head.
In a meta twist that M. Night. Shyamalan didn’t see coming, the very column you are reading right now was conceived today while I was walking behind my trusty Honda lawnmower.
For years, I’ve been mowing the same path, listening to the same music on the same MP3 player. I’d know by where I was in the process when a certain song came on, whether I was slower than normal or rushing.
As most folks, I’m stuck at home in this weird limbo where I don’t know what day of the week it is, and so bored that I spend way too much time deciding on my outfit to run to the drive-thru at CVS.
But I still have some power; to mix things up, take a hard left, make it dangerous.
Today I not only changed the route I mowed, I changed the music. Instead of the same club mix of swing music, I listened to a big, eclectic collection of 80s music. Tunes from bands like Tears for Fears, Prince, and Squeeze.
Most people understand a second language much better than they speak it. I speak Spanish pretty well, I’d say I’m 35-40% fluent.
My comprehension, though, is really lacking. I tell people to think of me as a dim-witted child; please use very simple words and speak slowly.
It’s probably related brain-wise that I’m also really bad at understanding the words in music. I am the girl that sings, “Oh is it the tan you wear?” instead of what U2 actually sings, “Or is it the time of year?”.
But occasionally after hearing a song more than 10,000 or so times, I begin to understand the words. Not long ago I realized Rick James was talking about a groupie and S-E-X!
I’d like to know, what is up with ants this year? If you had an apartment downtown the square footage of these anthills, there’d be a waitlist and a boat-load of amenities.
I try to remember to spray beforehand. But when it’s dusty when I mow, it’s like I’m inhaling an ant graveyard.
And I can’t help but think about a Night Gallery episode where this jerky writer washed a spider down the sink and it came back the size of a pony. I’m kind of nervous that I’ll wake up one night and a six-foot-tall ant will be standing over me holding a cast iron frying pan in one hand and a jelly doughnut in the other.
Usually, when I come in after mowing, I drink an icy cold bottle of Fanta root beer. It’s such a treat, so cold, spicy, and aromatic it almost takes my breath away.
But today’s water. I’m making potato salad for dinner. So those root beer calories are already spent.
Thanks for your time.
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