This morning I was set to hold a garage sale at my old house to sell off what we didn’t take with us. Instead of staying at the old house till all hours like I would normally have done, I came home–home–and went to sleep. I set my alarm for 5:45 a.m. to get up and get back over there for an early set up. I never sleep well with looming deadlines. I sat up in the night no less than 4 times, absolutely certain that I had overslept, only to discover it was 4:38, or 5:05, or two other non-5:45 numbers.
When it was actually 5:45, I got up and gathered my stuff. I needed my shoes on the back porch, so I went out there for them. That’s when I discovered a new level of carnage. Small-disgusting-creature-in-the-trash carnage. We’ve had many, many racoons in our trash over the last 3 weeks. We’ve even housed a possum in one of the trash cans. But today was different. Walking out onto the porch in the dark minutes of pre-dawn, I felt like I had interrupted a profane feast. The trash can was on its side below the deck and pieces of the trash were everywhere. Some of it had been dragged up onto the deck where, if I squinted just right, I could see the slight outline of a furry butt print. Had that bottom been there just moments before? I couldn’t stay to find out. Todd got a rude surprise when he went out on that deck after the sun was up. Sorry, dear. I had to just walk away from that one.
After a long, strange day of very formal occasions and play dates, I picked all of the kids back up and went to pick up Todd for a dinner at Buddy Freddy’s. Yes. Buddy Freddy’s. Because we live in the country now. It’s just what you do. Mama’s Boy ate 63 pounds of food. It’s really astonishing to watch him. How he isn’t 6 feet tall OR wide is amazing. Yet, he is actually quite tiny.
The most interesting sighting of the day came at dusk after the very pleasant dinner at Buddy Freddy’s. We were on our way back home. The light was soft and hemming every leaf and every blade of grass with a deep, blooming green. I was drinking it in.
And that’s when I saw him.
Sitting by the side of the road, at the end of his country driveway.
He was in a metal folding chair that was positioned there as if it were the most normal place for a chair in the world. Out there. At the edge of a busy road. On his feet were cowboy boots that came to his hairy bare shins and the rest of him wore jean shorts and a turquoise tank top. At the top of this mysterious figure was a light gray cowboy hat that was pushed down over a whole bunch of white hair.
Todd saw him too at the precise moment I did. This old timer with the long hair and long, white beard was leaning over a styrofoam cup with the straw in his mouth like he was sucking down the very source of life.
He never looked up.
He just kept drinking.
“Whoa,” Todd commented.
“I know,” I replied. “What do you think that was about?”
I have no answer.
We’re in the country now.
I do have to wonder what was in that cup…