Thursday, April 30, 2009

old friend

When I was a kid, it was that comfortable bed, where I could lay for hours reading, daydreaming, hiding from the world, thinking those thoughts that for some reason seem important only to kids but should be critical to adults.

It was the stage upon which I could act out my wildest fantasies. I could leap and twirl and bound, with a BAM & a POW & a SOCK! like the superheroes in the comic books collecting in my room. I could lie silent and still, like Davy Crockett, waiting patiently for the game to appear in the 'sights' of my imaginary rifle. I could score the winning touchdown (every time!) and hit the homerun the team needed in the bottom of the ninth inning.

It was my laboratory, where I could watch and chart the movements of the amazing ants, as they dug their tunnels under the ground, one group bringing grain after grain of dirt (did they seem like boulders to them?) stacking them on top of one another as industriously as the Egyptians building the pyramids, while another group wandered into the darkness, carrying food and other essential supplies.

But now?

Now, especially in the spring, it has become, not the field of dreams, but that field full of pesky weeds, crabgrass, bugs, moles, and other assorted denizens of the deep. It has become that infuriating piece of property that demands patience, a keen eye to make sure it doesn't get too high, the intuition to know the exact moment when it is dry enough to bring out the mower and whip it into line. It has become that embarassment, as Dusty and I walk by lawn after lawn of
well-manicured, deep (chemically induced, I am
convinced) green lush carpets, until we approach
ours with its brown spots, pushed down areas
from Dusty scratching his back, the withered
dandelion stalks stubbornly holding their puffy
heads up for all to see.

I miss my comfortable bed, my stage
my laboratory. So maybe, one night soon,
when it is dark, and none of the neighbors
can see and snicker, I will sneak out and
gently stretch out on my back, gazing up at
the stars twittering in the night sky, at peace
again with my childhood friend


(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

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