Friday, May 8, 2009


my backyard LoLaSuzanne May 2009

I crawl out of the car, haul out purse, various files, loose papers, slam the door shut with my hip.  I catch a heel on the curb, throw out my arms for balance. Files somersault and papers billow out to horizon and float to lawn.  I roll eyes to sky.  I’m so tired I consider walking away. 

Instead, I pick it all up, drag myself to the front steps.  I'm forced to drop the whole business on the porch when I discover I have already misplaced my keys.  The guys painting the house stop pretending they're working and openly guffaw.

I sigh big.  As in everything-is-a-production big.  The keys turn up in my purse and I nod at the painters as I twist the doorknob. 

Inside, I promptly drop an earring in the toilet.  Failing to take into account the degree of misjudgment possible, I lean over the bowl, bump my head on the raised lid,  fall into the wall, and while steadying myself, use the commode handle for leverage.  The earring floats in a little circle before it disappears.

Through the den’s glass doors, I catch sight of one of the workers on the rear deck. His face is ruddy and wrinkled.  He’s sitting on my railing staring into my house. I almost march out to the deck and explode.  Almost. 

Just then the sun glints off the object of his concentration.  Oh.  The wind chimes. I collapse on the sofa and watch him watch the bells. He steps down from the railing and shuffles closer. There is no wind and I wonder what he sees in the stationary metal and glass.  With a single finger, he thumps the mobile’s center bar.  He's all grin and dimples as the bells and crystals sing at once. When the chimes quiet, he picks up his paint bucket and leaves the deck.


(another version of this piece published in Moonshine, 2007)


Jayne Jaudon Ferrer said...

I know this day all too well. In fact, I believe I had it TODAY. For me, salvation came in walking to the parking lot behind a young couple whose just-walking toddler was positioned between them, her arms outstretched to hold on as she made her way clumsily down the street. Periodically, knowing she was in good hands, she'd let her legs give way and swing along. My grumpiness subsided as I smiled and thought, "There's no safer feeling in the world than having Mommy on one side and Daddy on the other, ready to catch you if you fall." The family never knew I was there, but they sure improved my frame of mind going in to the weekend!

Anonymous said...

So, you got a gun out and shot one of the painters right??

LoLa said...

Jayne, we all have to look for our teachers somewhere!
Anonymous--Obviously, I considered it. But wait, I grew instead!