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.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.