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lawns are a crime

07 August 2020
7:53 am

When I re-upped the gold membership not that long ago (girl, this year has been two decades, who knows how long ago that was now) I started getting email notifications about notes again. Like, got emails for every note I'd received for the past x amount of years. I guess I'm not getting them anymore, so it was nice to check my notes for something and see a handful I didn't know about. My master plan of minor socializing is working! Tada!

Thank you for your encouragements. This afternoon will mark 15 days. I think I am through the worst part. They say, oh the first 7-10 days is the worst, but that's never true for me. That's when it gets the hardest. My last entry was the kick off a particularly nasty few days - like, thoughts darker than I've had in quite some time - but those seem to have passed now, for the most part. I started taking walks again, mostly while listening to this year's Fiona Apple album Fetch the Bolt Cutters, which gives me lots of powerful feels and strong zoela vibes (sorry if it's weird that I 'pray' to you for strength at times, but there have been moments where your particular brand is required - in truth, I think about a lot of you far more often than you would expect). One of the first days, the walk sort of backfired because it took me too long to find the sun and by the time I got there I was just... shaded out. But I went back the following day and climbed through some plants to get to the creek, and even though it gave me a small rash, it was worth it to make some art out of sticks and find a good one to bring back with me. There have been satisfying walks since.

One day, I meant to finally mow the lawn, but our machine is electric and I discovered the outlet in the garage no longer works (soon, refi money, soon), so I had to go out to buy another extension cord to reach the front outlet. By then, it was too late in the afternoon to mow the lawn because I have a weird thing about being seen in the yard, and at that point, the traffic is much heavier on our busy road - I'll be very excited when they finish the highway construction and relieve the additional traffic flow. The following day, I decided to walk to my local (and only) diner to eat a breakfast, because 2020 sucks and it will be closed in a matter of days. It's the only restaurant I've been to. I sat at the back of their parking lot and ate eggs benedict and fresh orange juice in the sun. I didn't cry, or maybe I did. That place was very comforting, and as much as I love living in a city, it was nice to have something removed from that, something that felt... well, reminiscent of a restaurant I worked at a long, long time ago. "Back home." What is home? We are not yet nearing a point where I have lived in Minnesota and Florida 50/50, but it is still shocking that I've been here 12.5 years.

Hooray, for meandering entries.

So, I ate my breakfast, not realizing the walk there and back would be double what I have been walking, and after getting up at quarter to 5, I basically collapsed for the afternoon, which led to the rest of the day. Okay. Yesterday, finally I was going to mow the lawn. I had my gloves on, I was picking up sticks, and I was rewarded by JP finally coming around to see if I wanted the lawn mowed. I wanted to do the work and didn't want to pay for it, but I like to help JP out when I can, and he uses a gas mower, which works better on the sideyard where the grass somehow grows like hair before I even notice.

How to describe JP? He is not without shelter, but doesn't have a home. Last I knew, anyway. He was living in someone's garage, but it seems like he may have someone who is taking better care of him. Like, I think he lives not in a garage anymore, and he's had some newer clothes on. Long term alcohol on top of genetics that aren't, from my understanding, good for that. He's nice and never too much of a bother, even when he's very drunk. He does odd job stuff at the store across the street and they give him a few bucks. They don't want to pay him that much because he immediately goes out for alcohol. He'll come back and get a frozen pizza or two for himself, whatever is left of the donuts at the end of the day, and the rest he spends on candy for the kids in the house he was living in. In the store, they would take advantage of whatever change he had in his pockets. One drunk night he asked me what kind of white I was. He laughed really hard when I wasn't sure how to answer and then he gave me a high five. (god I miss high fives from half strangers.) The first time he offered to mow my lawn for $6 and I knew where the money would go, but there was no way I could pay a grown ass man $6 for that labor, and where the money goes isn't really my business. That money isn't going to change his life. So I give him $20. One time I paid him in advance and he hid from me for like a week, so I don't do that anymore.

He came by the other day and asked if I wanted him to cut down weeds. "I have my thingy here," he said, and pulled a kitchen knife out of his backpack. "Nah, I'm good," I said, having just purchased some items to play in the dirt my damn self. "I'm going to do it myself, and anyway I don't have any cash."
"Cool," he said. "Do you have any food?"
"Buh," I said, thinking about my food and instincts but not wanting to set a precedent. "Man, no..."
"Cool, cool," he said, and offered me his knuckles. I sighed in Pandemic, but desperate as I am, I gave them back and immediately went to wash my hands. At least he was masked.

So, yesterday I go out to mow the lawn and start picking up sticks. I realized that I can wear noise canceling headphones that almost entirely drown out the street (because technology is amazing), which makes it easier for me to be in the yard. If I can't hear them... they can't see me...

(Yes, I have been lying to my med subscriber about this because it's pretty mild and I know what he's going to say - just more emphatic encouragement to take this medication I don't want to try, and really I think this particular thing is based in self-esteem and not psychosis.)

SO I'M PICKING UP STICKS OK and JP shows up to reward me for my attempt at doing a thing. Do I want him to mow the lawn? Sure! Yeah! I'd love to not do it. "But I was literally about to do it, you know, so you have to come today. Can you come back today?" "Yeah, I'll be back this afternoon after the sun moves." "Okay, but definitely today, you promise?" It is never today. "Yeah, definitely, I'll be back in like a couple hours, man." "Okay." I went and took out cash for him. Of course, he didn't come.

So, basically this is the story of how I'm drinking coffee and then I'm going to go mow the lawn before he has the chance to show up. I'm being kind of an asshole about it, but there's no guarantee he'll show up today and I just want it done. A lawn is not something I really give a shit about. I'm not Ms Suburbia, I would be happy if the clover continued to cover all my yard, I let the dandelions grow wild... but let's go back to that perceived judgment I feel, and then I feel like something must be done. Also, playing in dirt and with plants is something I'd like to do more of, in addition to just being outside.

I did pull some weeds yesterday though. They're everywhere and have been growing in front of the garage. I pulled most of those anyway, especially the ones almost as tall as I am, but tried to avoid any that looked like they were still going to flower. I left one short one in particular because I have a thing for plants growing through concrete (listen, I was not meant to be a homeowner, or homeowner-adjacent) and because there was a cute fat bee digging on the flower.

But, between the bending from cleaning the toilet and twenty-five minutes of pulling weeds, I managed to hurt my back for the day, so I had to stop. I'm going to have to start doing squats again and regain some of my core protection. This house needs to be cleaned and needs work done in so many ways - I need to be able to do this shit for more than a short period of time without injuring myself. And really, I just need to figure out a plan for this winter that involves movement because winter is going to be a fuckin' chaaaallenge, no doubt. But that's for another meandering entry.

Anywayyyy. Having bitched about JP, I feel bad. Usually when he says he'll do the lawn in the afternoon, he comes back earlier the next day to do it, so I guess I'll go to the grocery store first, and mow the lawn after if he still hasn't come back, rather than the other way around. I need to go pick up supplies, and I'd rather not have any delivery service substitutions this time. Dan is going to his mom's tonight and staying til Sunday, hallelujah, amen, praise 'em all. I love him, and we've mostly been alright through all this, but I need some damn time and space for myself. I was hoping to magically get done some of the mess piles during this time, but since my body is being a jerk, it might just be quietly chillin', snackin', video gaming.. some reading.. maybe some arting.. who knows.

Hopefully not that thing where I crave alone time but then use that time to delve into my sad emotions. That would be annoying and unneccessary.

10:30am update: sure as shit, there he is. At least he's consistent.