As I pulled my car in front of the house, Brandus sat on the tailgate of his truck, swinging his legs and talking to the guys across the street, who were throwing around a football. Voldemort and the dog ran around with the kids next door, and I smiled as I got out and walked around my car to get my stuff out of the passenger side.
A tiny five-year old alia stands in her backyard, bare feet balancing on a wooden garden partition. Her father works in the yard, while mother and both sisters either pick up sticks or otherwise exist in the same space.
alia’s oldest sister suddenly screams, one word floating out above everything else.
The family panics, five people running for the house, father grabbing up the tiny barefoot five-year old and hustling to get inside.
Brandus approaches me with one arm out to give me a hug.
Seven or eight now, small alia walks down her driveway to the house after playing in the neighborhood. In front of her, it moves, and she freezes.
It’s gone in a moment, but she is shaking and cannot bring herself to move her small feet for several minutes.
I glance down at his hand for a brief moment a second before he touches me.
It’s dead. It’s dead, and in the middle of the road. Young teenage alia stands on one side several feet away, staring at it.
She knows it’s dead, she’s not stupid. She knows it won’t hurt her. But she can’t seem to make herself walk past it.
After hesitating for several minutes, she gathers up her nerve and sprints past.
Her calves prickle uneasily for the next ten minutes, wondering if it’s coming after her, even though she knows that is ridiculous.
Wrapped around his hand, the hand he is TOUCHING ME WITH, is a motherfucking snake.
I push him backwards hard, hands on his chest and nowhere near the thing his is holding.
He is still smiling, but the smile fades into confusion when I manage to say, past tight throat and restrained scream, that I can’t believe he would do this.
I don’t care that he looks like he doesn’t understand. He SHOULD. He knows I don’t go near him when he has it out of its cage. He was there the day I nearly crawled up the inside of his car door when he held one and it moved too quickly in his hands.
I make it inside, I make it upstairs, I don’t even take my computer or a book, I just crawl into the bed.
I spend the next hour in the bedroom upstairs, shaking, crying, and not talking to the jackass that just touched me with my biggest fear.
I swear – 6 foot 5 or so, and laid my husband out on the ground groaning in pain.
It’s not what you think. He’s fine. A little sheepish about being laid out on the ground by the situation, but fine.
It started as a normal day. Admittedly, we were stressed because there was enough water dripping in the garage to have made a mess of the ceiling and so someone was coming to take a look at that, but all in all, it was a normal day.
While waiting for the dude for the leak, I went out into the garden. I swore at some weeds, I grabbed a ripe zucchini off the vine, and checked to see if any tomatoes were turning red yet. I admired the sunflower plant that was coming up from a seed Voldemort had planted – one which I had excitedly spent the last few days talking to Brandus about and telling him how awesome it was that you could tell it apart from the false sunflowers that had sprouted up everywhere all over the yard, along with a couple of odd weeds that strongly resembled young trees taller than Brandus.
Brandus and the Dark One inevitably joined me, and I enjoyed a few minutes of family gardening time while Brandus pulled on his work gloves and said, somewhere behind me, as I attempted to dig up an extraordinarily stubborn root system, “And I know just which weed I’m going for first!”
I turned around. Just in time to see him not only lift the entire sunflower I had been so excited about right out of the ground, but also twist the stem and rip it even as Voldemort and I both yelped, “No!”
Strike one for gardening day.
Strike two came when the plumbing dude came and told us that the guy who had installed our new furnace last year had screwed part of the drainage installation and the furnace and a/c were currently pouring water onto the floor upstairs and destroying the ceiling in the garage. Awesome!
Strike three, however, was where we all gave up and walked off the ball field, because we were obviously out of our league.
Brandus went after one of the taller than him, tree-like weeds with nothing but his bare hands and his temporary loss of sanity. Instead of cutting down some of it so he could reach the bottom row of branches, or even trying to loosen up the root ball with the oh so convenient weed diggy tool thing* I had IN MY HAND. Or even going to get the “camping” ax** he bought last year and chopping the damn thing down like the tree it is – no. He decided to just..pull it up. Straight out of the ground.
Unfortunately for him, the tree-weed had other plans. Plans to burrow down into our yard underneath the landscaping all the way down to the CORE OF THE EARTH and cackle at his pathetic attempts to remove it from our lives.
Instead, Brandus forget the most important rule of lifting heavy things currently attached to the core of the Earth – LIFT WITH YOUR LEGS, NOT YOUR BACK.
He heard (and felt) a pop in his lower back as he lifted and twisted the thing, and when I rounded the corner, he was laid out on the ground with the tree hovering menacingly over him looking almost completely unruffled as Brandus choked out moans.
I..did not panic. Much.
The good news is that Brandus is fine – just sore.
The bad news is that the weed-tree remains mocking us from the backyard.
**I have known the man 13+ years. Never seen him camp.
I’m attempting to pick a new theme.
Expect weirdness for the next few days until I get all bugs worked out and thoroughly squashed.
Comments and suggestions helpful.
Blogher is next week!!!
I had such an awesome time last year, and I am so excited to go again.
Of course, it took some digging to find my silverspiral.net cards that I got from moo last year, only to find out I only have about 30 left. Uh oh. Must order more, but I’ve heard moo is charging ridiculous amounts this year?? Other than vistaprint, are there are other decent places to get cards that I can get in the next week that won’t cost craziness?
I do have a hotel room reserved, but no roommate- I CAN swing the whole cost of the room, but I don’t particularly want to. The only other people I’ve seen on the blogher14 fb page want to go 4 to a room, and while I don’t mind sharing a room, I don’t particularly want to share a bed with a stranger. Eek.
Last year I way overpacked, and then trying to get everything PLUS all the awesome swag packed to go home was insanely frustrating, so this year, I’m taking my favorite capris, a nicer tshirt, a geeky tshirt, one skirt or dress, and a pair of shoes and that’s it!
I’m also going to try to cram in my yoga mat- although I wonder if the hotel might have one I could borrow..that seems like something hotels should start doing- offering yoga mats like they offer cribs and extra cots. It would make my life easier, at least.
Anybody else going this year? Leave a comment if you are!