June 25th, 2004

[fades] browns and reds

20 bucks for a mow-job?

Mowed the lawn yesterday. Now the rain is pouring down, meaning that I'll have to mow the damn thing again in a week and a half. I guess it's better than watering, but this whole ritual, while a deep and primal affirmation of suburbia, is just frustrating. We have a beautiful front yard, *particularly* when it's overgrown a bit--there's these cascades of trumpet vines and wysteria, it looks like a primal jungle where mankind first stumbled out of the cave at 7:30 and stepped in sabre-toothed wolf crap while putting out the recycle bin.

I love grass and weeds and vines and insects. I also like, at least in principle, to be a good neighbor. But it's frustrating that the Jonses are so damn militant that my landlord will call me up if things are looking a little shaggy (okay, well, if the grass is a foot high in places, but it gets there in two weeks!) And the little parasites that come over and offer to mow your lawn--even doing it when you say "no, thank you, maybe later," and then demand money? Grr.

I have to surround myself with hyenas and Edward Gorey artwork at my job, to distract myself from the fact that, even if everyone around me just glows with wit and intelligence, that I'm in a darn cubicle. I never said "When I grow up, I want to be in a cubicle." It's a big cubicle, and I've got anime on my bookshelf and 10 stuffed animals, and a sign over the door saying "Kindergarten," but it's still a cubicle. And while I'm cognisant of the realities of living in a neighborhood, renting a house, and keeping up with the Jones's--I know I'd hate the Jonses if they ever came over to my house in their little polo shirts and kahki slacks, although only one of them would, because the Jonses come in M/F pairs rather than singular or plural M's, excuse my hyperbolic plurals, and they'd probably look smugly at me and say something along the lines of "Binkie and I were just, you know, in the neighborhood, and thought we'd swing by and say how nice it is that you decided to, you know, get the spirit, and if you and the little misses wanted to swing by to talk about golf--"

Well, they probably wouldn't say that, because we live a few blocks off from the ghetto. And I know a hell of a lot of Jonses, I'm a former churchperson, some of them are quite nice. And I want to be someone the neighbors wave at, so, mow the lawn. But it feels like I'm building my own cubicle.