So when a pre-teen knocked on the door and asked if I wanted him to mow, fidgeting and shy, I assumed it was him. He caught me off guard. We mow or do not mow our own lawn, except for one time last summer when I stood on the front steps and stared at the gnarled mess and decided I'd rather have every glade of grass come alive, slither up my pant leg and try to choke me than mow that lawn one more time. I paid the next-door neighbor $11 to do it and it felt like a fantastic luxury.
"Who does your lawn?"
"Ah. We have a wonderful lawn boy who cuts our yard into a shape of our initials entwined in a heart. He then gets out a fine tooth comb and makes sure all of the grass is pointing the same direction. I'm sorry, I can't share his information. We'd like to keep him for ourselves."
Oh. And also sometimes our 80 year old next door neighbor mows our lawn when he does his. But that's a weird bit of senior citizen hubris. If we're home when he does it, we don't even go near the windows.
I looked at the kid on the porch and said: "Nah. I think I'll do it. But if I need someone I'll let you know. Now you live down the street right?"
The boy shyly pointed to the house next door. It was the kid who did it last year, but his face had undergone that major metamorphosis that happens between ages 11 and 12. I mean like complete overhaul. Like on a soap opera when a new actor comes in to play a character.
"J?" I said. "Whoa. You got a lot older in a year."
I can't decide if that was inappropriate. I didn't actually say the word "puberty." Regardless, I regret telling him no.
Around 2 a.m. a pickup truck revs its way down the block, shouting out the window at a huddle of girls and an authority figure standing on the corner.
"Go have another beer!" the guy yells.
"These are eight 12-year-old girls!" a woman shouts at him.
She's still puffed up with he's gone.
"He could have taken any one of you," she tells the slumber party. "We'd never see you again."
She grabs one of the girls and pulls her. She grabs another girl and pulls her.
"He could have taken you and you would be gone forever," she says.
It seems a randy licensed driver had been chatting up the group of girls and the mom in charge of the party had come out waving her proverbial broom. I can't tell if she's actually drunk, but it makes it more interesting if she is.
I really thought the fear of kidnapping died in the 1980s, around the same time as the fear of kids getting absorbed into a cult. "Those are the Moonies," my dad would say, pointing at people standing on a corner handing out flowers. "Don't even make eye contact."
I wake at 11:30 a.m. with a bit of a headache. Now what in the heck do I do? I think miserably. And then I remember coffee.
Sometimes it seems like I spend the first 10 minutes of every day reminding myself what it is to be a human being. When one's bladder fills to the point of abdominal swell, she should urinate. When one's stomach feels emptied, she should eat. Why does my mouth feel like this? Brush teeth, my dear. Brush teeth. It's really not that hard.
I write a review of Dana Spiotta's novel "Stone Arabia." Spoiler alert: Four Solid Gold Stars.
Luck has thrown us a weather curve. After days of feeling like we were living in the back window of a car half submerged in a bog, it's like 50-something outside and gray. Almost perfectly emo weather with a touch of summer. It's the aesthetic equivalent of a band covering Morrissey, but smiling every time they sing "To die by your side, is such a heavenly way to die."
This seems like a good reason to see "Friends with Benefits." I'm unsure why I feel like I need to Justify (HA!) why I want to see this movie, but I find myself coming up with a list of reasons in my head in case anyone asks. Things like: I like how Mila Kunis's leg looks in that one scene in the trailer. I've matured in the past few hours and no longer feel a need to explain myself. And, yeah. I liked it. I can't wait to watch it eight times a weekend when it's on TBS in 5 years.
Ever since I saw "Blue Valentine," I always wear a hood at movies so I can invisibly poke at my cry face. I always get weepy in the theater. I think it's the larger-than-life-ness and the mingling of music and moments. Not to mention aerial views of my favorite city, which is a lovesick kidney chop. Anyway, I only cried twice this time.
I come home and finish a T.C. Boyle.
Chuck and I went to dinner at Lake Avenue Cafe. We even showered and wore clothes that aren't in our regular rotation and that had never been slept in. I ate shredded Pork Shoulder on top of Cheesy Polenta with some lemony greens and gravy. He had deconstructed fish and chips. It. Was. Awesome. All of it. Every bite. Yum.
We made a film inspired by the best scene in the movie "The Troll Hunter." This required skulking in the woods in the dark and feeling the train tracks for vibrations. The first take was the best take, so we went with it.
I stay up until the sun came up watching Season 2 of "United States of Tara," which I keep wishing was "Weeds." It's just not quite good enough. It feels like it went off the rails somewhere and now it can't be harnessed. And I only really like it when you can hear Diablo Cody's voice in the writing loud and clear.
Also: I think Chuck looks a lot like John Corbett.