Thursday, March 6, 2008

Table Top Garden

Earlier in the day, Edward couldn’t drink enough beer. One after another they were drained as he sat at his desk, staring out the window overlooking the front yard and refusing to count the collection of bottles piling up beside the dormant printer. From the computer’s speakers played some mostly forgotten blues song from a CD Edward purchased because he didn’t have enough Blues in his collection. None of the songs were exactly grabbing him, but he listened anyway, feeling that he was supposed to like what he was hearing even if he didn’t.

Edward opened another beer and resumed his gaze out the second story window overlooking the front yard.

Dandelions are waging war against the sidewalk in front of my house.

Each day, more and more of them shoulder their way through the cracking concrete. Mustard smudges from his view on the second floor, and little more. While the cracked and ragged sidewalk seems stuffed with the rusting blooms, Edward’s yard, un-mowed for the past week and a half is devoid of them.

“Why wouldn’t they just come up where it’s easy?” he mumbled to himself, reaching for the bottle at the edge of the desk. Three feet to the right, and the soft ground would practically push them into the sun, plus they’d avoid his neighbor Dan and his German Shepherd Daisy on their frequent mile long walk into town.

“Dan and Daisy. Ha!” Edward looked away from his translucent reflection coming from dormant computer monitor.

With teeth shrink wrapped with gelatin from too much mouth breathing, Edward felt groggy and hot. Suddenly feeling weighed down by the clothes he’s wearing, Edward shifted uncomfortably in his chair while pulling absently at the chest of his T-shirt. He felt as if the cotton sticking to his skin was soaked in honey, and it stung like a cat scratch. He wanted to be naked, but didn’t want to chance seeing his own body reflected in the monitor to his right. That, and he know the chair would against his naked skin would feel like rolling in gravel.

He never seemed to get his glasses clean. Through the greasy lenses the dandelions Monet themselves. Edward takes a long pull off his bottle of Shiner and closes his eyes to the harsh Texas sun and the sidewalk battle taking place outside. When he was a child, Edward would pick what seemed to be hundreds of Dandelions, stuffing the stems into ever-dirty hands that smelled of earth and their overgrown lawn. When he had as many as he could carry in small hands he would take them into the house and give them to his mother. With her thick glasses low on her nose and her brow creased with worry, she would smile as she saw me coming.

“What a nice gentleman you are to bring your favorite lady flowers!”

In a home without a vase, the flowers would be stuffed into a Mason jar filled partially with water where they would stay until they browned and wilted. During dinner in the evenings she would point them out to the family.

“Dave, did you see the flowers Edward brought me today? Aren’t they pretty?”

“Yeah, I did. Real nice, Eddie.”

Edward opened his eyes slowly to the sun. Looking back, Dandelions were the only flowers that ever came through the door of that house when he was a kid. He never remembered his dad surprising his mom with even a simple bouquet of spring flowers or a pot of mums in the fall. Not sure why he was even thinking about these things, Edward stood unsteadily to head downstairs where it was cooler.

No comments: