Sunday, July 03, 2016

Mysterious Behavior ...

I don't know what comes over me on days like today.

It seemed normal enough, upon waking. A reasonable hour. A reasonable amount of rest.

I made coffee. I made my bed. I poured juice.

I made my usual rounds on the Internet. I was pleased to see that someone had read my wee-book.

Then a voice told me to read it again and I spied a sentence missing a word.

How had that happened? I had proofread the file several times back in the day and I had a friend proofread it, too.

I decided to upload a corrected file but first, it made sense to read the whole thing.

So I did. And I spied an extra word. And several stick apostrophes. I made the corrections and uploaded the file.

I hit the button on the garage-door opener before heading outside to retrieve lawn chairs for tomorrow. But my mom stopped by then, so I paused for a spell, but then, while we continued to talk, I did up the few morning dishes and scoured both basins of the kitchen sink.

When she left, I followed her outside and retrieved chairs and put them in place.

I headed across the street to chat with a neighbor I mostly talk to during winter, when we take a break from shoveling.

I returned and chatted briefly with my next-door neighbor – the one with the immaculate gardens – about the 4th of July.

"I think I'll pull some weeds for the occasion," I said.

And then I did.


There was a time when I was limber. There was a time when I could sit on the floor with my legs stretched straight out in front of me, together, and touch my forehead to my knees.

That was a long time ago, not long after man discovered fire.

Yet I was bending over and pulling weeds and then – and this is the more miraculous part – standing upright without grunting like a pro on the court at Wimbledon returning a volley.

And so it went: bending, pulling, standing, tossing, over and over until the front beds looked slightly more presentable.

And then I grabbed the smaller of my two rakes and raked up a bit of detritus in the beds. And raked out the grass I'd dumped last year, to help it decompose a little more quickly now.

And then my brain was telling my body that it was time to stop.

So I put the bag of weeds by the garage and removed my gloves, but then thought that I should sweep the front walk and the front stoop and a few cobwebs I'd spied near the front door.

And so I did.

Seriously, my brain said, go inside.

And so I did.

I don't remember now what made me go for the vacuum but I found myself headed back out to the garage to grab an attachment from the vacuum I keep out there for cleaning my car. And then I was inside again. In my bedroom. Kneeling on the floor. Vacuuming underneath my bed.

I stopped to empty the canister on the vacuum.

And then I began again. To reach better, I laid down on the floor. On my stomach. Yet I was using my arms. It was almost like ... exercise.

Finished, I stood up – again, no grunting – and proceeded to vacuum everything I could think of to vacuum with the wand and attachments – apparently, it had been quite some time since I'd thought to vacuum the vents near the ceilings in the bedrooms – and then I tackled the floors.

I paused now and again, to answer a text, to retweet some tweets, but I kept looking for things to do.

Having tackled the weeds in front, I decided to start on the weeds in back.

And so I did.

I remembered the wind chimes in the garage that I haven't hung up for several summers, so I retrieved those and hung those up. And I proceeded to pull some impressive piles of weeds.

I heard the phone ring. Mom had said she'd share dinner with me tonight, so I finished my most immediate weeding and headed inside to check messages. Yep, she had called. My keys were in my car from the morning, when I pulled it out of the garage to retrieve chairs, so I shut the front door to head to Mom's.

Wallet. My wallet was still inside. On the other side of my now-locked front door. So I grabbed the keys from my car, returned to the house, let myself in, grabbed my wallet, locked the door, and got on my way.

Home, I ate – everything; thanks, Mom – and watched the second half of "Close Up with the Hollywood Reporter." (It's good. If you don't watch it, check it out some Sunday.)

And then I tried to get off the couch.

Ha!, my muscles said. Did you really think you were going to be mobile all day and we wouldn't protest?

There seemed to be nothing to do at that point except ... go outside and pull more weeds?

The hell?

So I did. A lot of weeds. Tall weeds. For quite a while. I have a big yard.

I could have kept going but the bag for yard waste was full. And it seemed like a good time to stop. So I put everything away, including my car.

And I came inside and washed my hands and filled a large plastic tumbler with ice and poured a glass of lemonade and plopped down on the love seat and here I am, a bit bemused.

I planned on getting the chairs out today. That was as far as I'd thought.

I hope tomorrow's more boring.


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