Thursday, July 31, 2003

One of my customers is this lady who has a permanent tracheotomy hole in her throat. She calls it "my bowtie" because of the gauze surrounding it. She must be in her early 60s and moves slowly with the help of a cane. She also chain smokes. Her aunt died and she asked me to mow the aunt's lawn. I go over there and have to use the bathroom. The house is full of knick knacks in various stages of being packed up, and it smells like smoke with an underlying tinge of death. One begets the other. In the bathroom, next to the toilet paper roll, is an ashtray on its own little pedestal.

That was the funniest moment of my day.

I spent the entire day, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., on this property. I mowed the lawn, including the overgrown garden, where I had to lift and lower the blade onto tall weeds, cut down small trees, trimmed bushes, hedges and grape vines, and collected it all in four bags. It was hot and humid all day. I stopped a couple times to get my energy back and doused myself with cold water fresh from the spigot. What luxury.

Yup, last day in July. Storm clouds brewing all day, as if to enforce the Farmer's Almanac prediction it is supposed to be cooler than normal. Every time it gets hot, the skies grow turbulent and angry. I escaped to the safety, air conditioning and soft drinks of my parent's to watch the rest of the Cubs game as they beat the Giants, 9-4. Left at 5 p.m. and watched as storm clouds brewed to the north. After de-salting (taking a shower) I dressed and sat on the front porch to wait for Esther. It was much cooler, dark clouds overhead, and a stiff breeze blew towards the storm. Storms draw air, breathe deep like the cartoon image of a blustery, Dizzy Gillespie-cheeked mischievous breeze. Esther rode up on her bike and we sat there enjoying the cool and looking straight up at the gray-ish, almost dark blue like the ocean, multi-layered swirling clouds.

I managed to run a few errands and get home for supper before the storm began.

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