Saturday, November 03, 2007

Tales from the Caves

It's been quite a while since I've visited with my five constant friends here. Time and task has plodded on resolutely: spring, summer, planting my lil patch of manure clods, yard patrol and litterbox control, a new paradigm for trashbag utilization, overheating, unbearable silence, boredom, watching the Mr. P's undershirts flapping around out on the clothesline, snack cakes and Court TV.

Spring and early summer were quite enjoyable--the windows flung open, my little seedlings stretching out of their peat pots toward the light, the smell of the earth, the sun warming my blue-tinted, terminally-Caucasian skin. But then the reality of summer in southern NJ set in: saunacious humidity hanging on the motionless, dung-scented air; wall air conditioners buzzing like shaken beehives inside, cicadas screeching like nails on a blackboard outside; postponed day trips; limp hair; staggering birds; blind-darkened rooms; and blastfurnace car interiors making it impossible to bring home a quart of ice cream (lack of a/c in the A/ccord).

I looked up one day and realized my garden had been neglected. The plum tomatoes had blossom-end rot, the cucumbers had screamed and died, the zinnias and white marigolds were growing wild and the weeds were having their way with the more virtuous plants everywhere. I'd been low-level depressed again for several weeks, hiding in the darkness of my cave, eating Devil Dogs and watching Judge Joe Brown re-runs on the tube. The highlight of the gardening season--finding those giant green worms on my tomato plants (the ones with the wasp eggs on their backs)--had come and gone without my notice.

Hi! Like my barrister's wig?
I got it on eBay!

I'd turned into a mindless blob (ref film The 5th Elem*nt, right after Evil-Bastard-Zorg-choking-on-a-cherry scene, priest has been kicked out of the room, Zorg stands alone, holding Picasso, his disgusting, elephantine, fat-rolled, hairless pet over his left shoulder, its idiotic face peeking around Zorg's neck as it waves its trunk aimlessly. The pet is about the size of a two- or three-year-old child, weighing about 60 pounds, flabby, repulsive, undoubtedly malodorous, vile, useless, patently offensive--in short, the only pet for Zorg).

The main problem with turning into a mindless blob is the fear of dying while watching t.v. and eating Devil Dogs. The police would be summoned by concerned neighbors who saw a blood-smeared cat running out of the house. The cat stopped in their driveway, sat down and began grooming itself to clean up the red, sticky fluid covering its face. Upon entering the house, the police find my bloated corpus lying on the floor, being feasted upon by Peanut and Buju. A TVGuide is in my left hand, a snack cake in my right hand. The bottle of Diet Pepsi on the coffee table is still cold, which, in combination with the cats' red masks, could only mean one thing: the severe bloating of the body is not due to death having occurred several days ago. The severe bloating is due entirely to unrestrained consumption of Devil Dogs.

The police take pictures and draw a chalk line around the body. They have to use three sticks of chalk and run the line up onto a wall and down again to outline the entire glutton. "God Almighty, Harry! Did you see the trash cans outside? There musta been two dozen empty Devil Dog boxes! Maybe she was tryin' ta eat the picture off that box under the couch and choked on the cardboard!"

Late summer wasn't a total washout, however. My dear friend and neighbor showed me how to throw several trash bags down at the bottom of the receptacle so one need not continually run back and forth to the box of trash bags. This technique is a blessed time saver around here, I'll tellya! I'm finally adjusting to the silence of flown children. Finally. It's taken a long time, and there's still the question of what to do with the next 15/20 years, but that's a ponderage best undertaken once the anti-D-press-ants are better managed.

And then there's the Devil Dog issue to be confronted. God, have mercy!