Playing In The Yard

Autumn had to go fetch her car from that hickville transmission shop this past weekend. A close friend of hers named Jamie was nice enough to drive her all the way out there to pick up her Honda. The transmission shop had to build a new gearbox using parts from a couple different years of Honda five speed manual transmissions. From what I gleaned from Autumn’s phone conversations with the shop, her year of Honda had a weird five speed in it and they only manufactured it for two years. I think. Anyway the cost of rebuilding it was expensive. Surprisingly it cost even more than a rebuilt automatic transmission. I feel terrible about it. There’s no point in telling the truth now. It’s too late, and it’s done. I failed.

While Autumn spent the better part of the day on a roadtrip to rescue her Honda, I was working hard in my back yard laying 305 square feet of fresh lawn. It’s a project Autumn pestered me into months ago. She did most of the work putting the whole thing together though so I’m not complaining. It’s the least I can do. The sod was delivered off the back of a flat bed semi onto my driveway. It had been neatly packed up by the sod farm on a wooden pallet. Very compact, and heavy as hell. They had to use a forklift to get it off the truck. I spent hours making trips back and forth from the driveway to my backyard carefully placing each section of lawn into the dirt. Everything went according to plan and when I was done it looked great. Came out better than I imagined it would anyway.

Autumn lives in a small two bedroom apartment in the East Bay. She can’t have a garden there. Most of the time she’s fiending for gardening on weekends so I let her use my front walkway and the backyard here for her botanical projects. It makes her happy. She likes to refer to it as “playing in the yard.” Unlike her, I don’t have a green thumb. In fact I’m down right rotten with the care and feeding of plants. It’s not deliberate or anything, I seem to forget about watering them and next thing you know they’re deader than shit.

The backyard here at my place was consumed by an army of ivy. It was so dense you couldn’t see the ground from the livingroom sliding glass door all the way to my neighbor’s fence. Autumn decided to rip all that ivy out and then amend the soil in preparation for laying sod down. Most weekends she would get up hours before I did and head out there with a small collection of hand tools to do battle with the ivy. Sometimes Jamie helped too. I would wander through the house in my bathrobe wiping crud out of my eyes and find both of them hard at work. I felt kind of bad about it, but Autumn seemed happy so I didn’t worry about my lack of participation too much. A couple months passed. The ivy was eradicated and the soil was rendered into pristine condition ready for hearty fescue to move in. Autumn and Jamie did a fine job.

Shortly before everything was ready to go, Autumn dragged me out to a few plant nurseries and a sod farm. I hadn’t been to a plant nursery since I was a kid. My mother dragged me out to nurseries once in a while for whatever gardening projects she was working on. It was boring at the nurseries. All I wanted to do was go out and play anywhere but there. As an adult setting foot back inside a nursery with Autumn in the lead I decided that plant nurseries are still boring. Instead of going out to play all I wanted to do was hide in the garage with a beer or something. I noticed most of the guys I saw there were in the same boat I was, which made it kind of funny.

We were all being dragged around by our girlfriends or wives who were enthusiastically telling us about this kind of plant or that one, mentioning how pretty those colors are, and myriads of random plant facts. The dudes were making muted “Mmmhmmm” and “Uhuh” comments in response. I did my best to feign interest when required of me by Autumn, but most of the time I just mindlessly followed her around like a robot carrying a tray with petunias and whatever else had caught her eye. I daydreamed of I don’t remember what. The other man-robots were doing the same thing, some were dragging little three wheeled carts instead of carrying a tray like I was. The expressions on some guys faces were classic. I could tell what was going through some of their minds. They wanted to be sitting on a couch with a cold beer in hand watching the game, or be hanging out in a garage somewhere tinkering on a project. Poor us.

~ by factorypeasant on January 2, 2006.

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