(Subtitle: the devil is in the details.) Men have hobbies: fishing, running, collecting stamps, burning things (my brother’s hobby). Mike makes tiny people. Tiny soldiers, mostly. I was going to say he paints them but that hardly shows the complete … Continue reading →
I’ve been relocating my garden. Most of the fuzzy, silvery (read unappealing to deer) lambs’ ears from the back yard notgarden are being transplanted, shovelful by shovelful, into an instant garden in the front of the house. This is a time-consuming process as I must step back frequently to evaluate, ruminate, and procrastinate over the direction and flow of the plants, the angle and quantity of rocks and geegaws subsumed into the making of the new garden, and to clumsily punch the minuscule button on my MP3 player with my muddy garden glove to bypass, or circle back to, a particular song. As always, I was accompanied by that electronic companion, comforter, personal trainer, and virtual Lucifer himself ever ready to distract me, magically squeezed into a purple 1.5″ x 2″ case; my MP3 player. On this typical Sunday morning consisting of neighborhood silence and solitude so thick and clinging as to seem post-apocalyptic, my garden slogging was backed by Ingrid Michaelson singing cheerily against my brain about broken hearts and broken parts and Sheryl Crow reminding me that “all I wanna do is have some fun” and Pitbull rasping that I’m” groovy, baby” and he wants us to” make a movie, baby” and Haley Bonar voicing my exact wish that “I could be my former self, she’d be a fun girlfriend — she got a bad reputation.” Suitable music for gardening, or the end of the world, in case this day actually was and I didn’t recognize it.
The morning’s mucking about was slow going and it was evident the game would soon be called by yet more rain. My $1.25/bag soil was going to be nickel-a-pound mud if I didn’t lay the traveling lambs’ ears lickety-split into the dirt to be held in place temporarily by the oval marble cutouts scavenged from somebody’s bathroom sink installation. I continued digging and pulling and wheeling back yard to front.
And humming. And singing.
Raindrops began falling around me. I saw their impressions on the pollen-glazed driveway more than felt them. There would be no stopping the transplant slog just yet, though. I’d been carting this garden around for weeks between rainstorms and traveling. At this pace, autumn would be here before I got this project done. After autumn, the world does end, nearly, for me.
Digging and wheeling, digging and wheeling. Singing. Punching the replay button on the MP3 player with ever dirtier gloves. More singing.
The rain continued upping the ante.
The Blazers queued up on my electronic Lucifer, playing their jaunty “Cumbia Del Sol.” I’d steadfastly cast tempters Ingrid and Sheryl and Pitbull and Haley behind me, but the Blazers held out the ultimate apple. “Cumbia” — a dance form; “del Sol” — the sun.
I looked at the substantial expanse of waiting dirt. Just another wheelbarrow or two would allay my procrastination guilt. At least two more days of rain were forecast. The trees stood near me aloof and dripping and mute amongst their brown leaf carpeting, the sole witnesses to my labors aside from an occasional road biker blazing past.
So, what really mattered here?
I bit the Blazer’s apple.
I poked the volume button. I dropped the shovel. Stepping over the wine bottle garden edging, I proceeded to trample the nearby clover with my own cumbia, dancing alone and upright and madly in the front yard, dissing the dreary sky, seeing a cartoon-bright sun in my mind. I danced opposite the grubby me reflected in the house windows. I danced among the imaginary crowd on the backs of my eyelids. I danced with my back to every self-imposed Puritanical “should,” hoofing gleefully with the Lucifer of right here and right now. I danced because I could, and because I couldn’t not dance.
And there it is. Don’t wait. Drop your shovel or your phone or your loneliness or your disease and dance, with your eyes closed and your back to your Puritans if necessary. Whatever’s in your garden, weeds or prize roses or just dirt, nothing’s going anywhere. Right now is all that really matters. Don’t let the chance to be happy, to have fun for just this moment, slip away. Never let that chance get away from you. There’s no replay button for it.
Today I sloughed the layers of winter’s death-shroud clothing, worn like a prison uniform, for spring’s sheer yet strong cloth of warmth and sun. No matter that as I drive from the city the trees remain nearly bare; I have but to look up, past and between their stubbornly conservative branches, to see the sky — to be able to see the sky at all!– from blue to pale, brushed with white clouds. Sunlight jewels off passing cars. The unfamiliar warmth feels so intimate on my exposed skin that it’s almost obscene. I’m afraid if I close my eyes too long all of this will disappear and I’ll be back in the monotonous nightmare of the 100 year winter, surrounded by ugly days of useless rain and sticking mud; day after day after hopeless day.
Today my heart is spread wide and open through my chest, and this day feels like a healing salve spread over its winter wounds. The terror of losing this blessed gift of sun and heat and light starts to make my head ache. But I’m pushing back against that dull pounding. No matter, I won’t let it matter. The sun is with me, my shadow too. I have this moment now, with the wind flying across the open truck window and the humming sound of traffic, the precious everydayness of people going somewhere, in this right-now time of winter gone. I am as a hostage released, and as I wrap spring’s fabric around me, I can smell every happy moment I’ve ever had in my entire life.
Okay, that’s b.ETTer . . .better. Mad Queen’s gone, Monkey here. ARe you out there, peeps/? Not much time, have things I got to tell you, things you need to noKNOW.
See, we been travellin lately, me and my Mad Queen. USED to be just me and Mad’s hub on the GO (she’d be pissed if she heard me calling her MAD, but she ain’t in the room, is she? Ha!) but now she quit that job thing mAD’s got her panties packed too. I’m finall y gettin out of that *()&^&(P backpack Mad’s hub kept me in and I’m seein it I tell ya –seein the FREAKIN world alrea.dy! Savannah bone connects to THE ATHENS Ga. boan connects to the Raleigh bone connects to the Porto Rico arriba!! bone!! Monkey rocksTommy Bahama!!!
Typin with my toes
Now listen listen ,, Im goin to help you with yOURtravel. Help you save a little $cha-ching$ so’s you can buy more bananas. This ain’t no monkEYS on typewriters scientifical theory stuff, this is the REAL THING. I noknow what I’m talkin here.
First, get that air-o-line plastic. 30,000 free miles gets you there — all you gotta buy is a package of TicTacs and pay the bill on time — bam, free flight, get it?? Probly get you on the aerojet at the HEAd of the line, too, stead of squeezin in like a *()*)& sausage waaaaaay back in Zone 10 and havin to smash your personAL travelin monkey under some sweaty guy’s coat in the o-verhead, know what I mean?? Might get you and yours each a free che cked bag, too. Each, hear me? It’s not all about you. And don’t make me tell u you to join the airline frequent flier programs. You ain’t that stupid that you havn’t done it yet. You ain’t. , ,. Tell me you ain’t. Some of em give you comeplanyencommpaneon companion certificates to fly your favorite monkey along. Can’t lose I’m tellin ya. Can’t[
Same with those hotel/motel/Holiday Inn sing it with me now! credit cards. Don't cost you no.thin to join them hotel point programs, then get their plastic. Add those pOInts up and bam! --you could be sleepin pretty in no time. Just pay the bill and you get the points. Simple (Monkey knows. dON'T believe? Go here (jerk)). Adds up. Transfer points for airplane rides too -- go farther -- zoom zoom!!
So, Mad's all hand-wringy about soap and shampoo. You no know, those little soaps and shampoos in the hotel/motel/Holiday Inn. Take em? Leave em? She's feelin all guilty about taking em, . Not Hub. He's takin' em. Monkey's with Hub on this. Mad ain't had to buy soap in 3 years. 3, I'm tellin ya. (And I know they're usin soap I seen em. And I ain'tno peepin Tom so don't get all het up about it.) That brand soap or shampoo make your pretty nose all twitchy? Donate it. Not every Body's nose is as picky as yours.; Lotsa peeps and monkeys two be glad to .use it,.
Same thing with those head-phones on the airPlanes -- they're offerin, take em even if you don't waTCLH the Movie. They fit all kinds of electronics. Monkey's collecting the whole set!
Somewhere between Port-o-RIco and Hotlanta, Mad got into some Thing that sent her royal gut into overdrive. Maybe the rum cAke at the Bacardi factory? The s;alad at the HOtel? That giant German beer down-town?? Wherever, Mad was a Smart Queen and had her pink Pepto along for the ride. Coulda been a looong night didn't she have it. Don't leave home without it.)( Not a bad idea to tote some pro-biotics too;; keep that happy bacteria hummin.
Some,times Mad and her Hub got to go where Unca Sam's got his mitts in everything. E--vry--thing. Can't even get a drink without doin double dutch jump rope for some gov's sake. Those little airline liquor bottles work just fine refilled. Heck, they even go through TSA's carry-on poke & prod routine (and u you think I'm a peEping Tom??). Pack your own 90 proof.
Last hotel Mad & hub bunked at wanted $13 a day to peek into the WOrld Wide Weeb. $13 -- a day -- *)(%$& --!!!! How's a monkey gonna make $$ to buy Dole stock at that rate??&& Mad sledded into the 3Ws using the hotel lobby net-work and her netbook -- free as a Big BIrd. Just take your little comPUter into the lobby, sniff up the available wire-less nEtworks, and jumnpon!! $13 bucks, Geez. Must think I'm a monkey's uncle
Save! You! Money!
Pack a headlamp. Tell me you no know they’re the new sexy. Great for midnight pacing or reading, and saves Monkey’s eyes from blindING bathroom light.
ud98ew%^&$…/++ecjf Gotta swing Mad’s comin dont tell her i was