Sunday, June 2, 2024

Over an Open Field


I didn't play hippie yesterday.  I didn't drink wine and explore.  Rather, I played cowboy.  It needed to be done, so I went to Home Depot, got supplies, and cleaned the deck.  First I had to take everything off of it which is a chore in itself--heavy wrought iron chairs and table, big planters, glass tabletop, gas grill, etc.  It is always more than I think.  Then the chemicals, TSP, outdoor bleach, and water in a spray tank.  Spraying each 16 foot board takes a while with the small spray nozzle.  Then the real trick--getting Tennessee's old pressure washer started.  It wouldn't.  I broke my back hand cranking the son of a bitch until I decided to go get new gas.  I got a higher octane thinking it might help.  It did.  And after I figured out that I had the engine throttle turned off and finally got the choke right, whoopee ti ay oh.  The thing coughed into action.  So it was spray, scrub, pressure wash.  Spray, scrub, pressure wash.  

I was smart, though, to do it yesterday.  The sky was half cloudy and the temperature as low as it is going to be.  The humidity seemed to have vanished for a bit, too.  And three hours later, I had a deck ready for painting.  

I hope.  

I am not the smartest guy about these things.  I'm a grunt, though a broken one, who can do stupid manual labor but can't be trusted to know what he is doing.  I just follow the directions and guidelines and hope for the best.  I am not a skilled worker.  I couldn't even play one on t.v.  

I did this in the late afternoon instead of going to my mother's house, and when I finished, wet and smelling more than faintly like bleach, I poured a Campari and sat in a chair in the yard.  To my surprise, the cat showed up, so I gave her food and we looked on together at the seemingly endless wet deck.  

When the Campari was finished, I went inside and stripped down for an Epsom Salt soak and a shower.  And when that was done, it was seven.  All I'd eaten was a bowl of soup in the afternoon.  I was tired and didn't want to cook, so I drove up to The Humus House and got a Southwestern Bowl.  Brown rice, vegetables, beans, hummus, and chicken.  Back home, I opened a Funky Buddha IPA and collapsed in front of the t.v.  7:30 and the sun was still shining.  I eschewed anything Trump.  Tennessee sent a video of  him shooting a bb rifle at a moving target, his wife marveling, laughing in the background that she couldn't hit anything.  He was at his mountain cabins on his hundred acres.  I wrote him that all he does is play while I worked.  I thanked him for the use of his piece of shit pressure washer.  

I poured a whiskey at eight.  I'd eaten like a hippie, anyway.  I had a phone call and chatted for awhile, then turned on "Tokyo Vice."  I was physically tired but I wasn't sleepy.  At midnight, I found myself playing guitar and crooning.  It is funny how often I play this song on a lonely night.  It is the plaintive, sorrowful verse and the ancient, impassive response.

"I'm empty and aching and I don't know why,"

"And the moon rose over an open field." 

Knowing I needed to sleep and knowing I wouldn't, I took a sleep aid and turned off the lights.  There would be more work in the morning.  And so I drifted off, that haunting refrain looped in my head.

"We've all come to look for America."

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