... on the deck out back. I finally reclaimed my deck.
It started yesterday, with the help of Upstairs Neighbor and the Sun. The deck needed to be reclaimed. I shared an awful lot of time on my desk last July, just sitting or talking or smoking. Making plans...
In August I would sneak out to the deck so the Sun wouldn't see, and fucking cry. I knew he wasn't coming back. I knew it the minute he left, despite whatever he said. I could feel the distance the minute he left. I started crying right away. My heart knew. My head wanted to believe, my ears heard what he said and my lips tried to form words to make him come back, but my heart knew. And after that I stopped sitting on the deck. The professor moved to an apartment that didn't have a deck, and all the stuff that been on her deck got brought to mine, but I didn't really care and so however it landed was exactly how it stayed.
It was a weird winter somehow, very harsh. We had a lot of snow and a lot of wet even though it wasn't as cold as other winters I remember, and everything died. And so when spring came (such as it was) and it rained and rained and rained, whatever was left in the flowerpots drowned or got choked with weeds. A few things survived... the yellow daisies, the yellow and orange day lilies (lilies are intrepid) and the purple iris.
Funny thing about the iris... UN gave it to me in a pot a few years back. I never did shit to it... barely gave it new dirt, left it in the same old pot, watered it when I remembered. Over the winter the pot fell and landed on it's side. And guess what?
This spring, the iris decided to fight back, and grew out of the sideways pot and gave me a big "fuck you" by producing several large and deep purple blooms. It kind of inspired me, that iris. Despite being mistreated and ignored, it survived. Despite being unappreciated, it gave beauty anyway. UN and I propped it up, still on it's side, in a place of honor along the back wall. We decided to call my deck "Survivor's Garden". The Sun said I should make a sign. I probably will.
UN hadn't wanted to do her garden either. It's been hard for her since Mr. Kip left. It was easy for me to tell her she HAD to... I knew Kip would have been mad if she let it go, and I told her so. So she struggled through it, and got her garden going.
But I still wouldn't go onto the deck.
The mosquitoes had a field day in the drowning pots, and the yellow jackets took over the rusting barbecue. I joked that the only thing that was missing was some hunks of automobiles.
But you can't keep the Beast down for long; she gets restless. And something about the situation with Cricket made me finally get mad at everything; the whole situation with the Scrub, all of it. I needed to take back the deck. I think it's because I let it all go last summer... I wasn't careful at all. I let my guard down and my defenses weak. But this time, I was careful; this time even though I recognized feelings, and recognized that feelings had been around a LONG time... once I finally let them out and was told it wasn't quite mutual made it easier to shut it all down and lock it up. So I shut it all down. Last summer I held out for hope, I believed in the power of a feeling. This summer? Fuck it. You don't have to tell me twice. Despite the fact that I think you're full of shit, despite the fact things were flowing, despite the fact that things got produced because there WAS a connection... you don't feel what I feel so fuck it. If I think about it, I could point out all the ways I see your logic is wrong. If I wanted to, I could make a damn good case. But what's the point? Shut it down.
And I'm taking back my deck and not sharing it with just anybody.
We started with just picking up garbage... balls that had been bounced off the deck into neighbor's yards and flung back up, leaves, cracked pots, the old basketball hoop (not one of SD's brighter ideas since the deck wasn't big enough to dribble a ball on, and one good bounce and balls ended up in neighbor's yards), a shredded tarp or two.
Today, UN went out to see her mom in the nursing home and brought back all these flowers from the garden nursery that's close by... there had been a buy one get one free sale. And she brought me lots of purple and orange flowers, the names of which I forget; and red petunias and pepper and tomato plants. Then she took me food shopping--foodstamps came today. I used them all. I'd had nothing in the house.
I needed dirt... some of the dirt was just tired, or hopelessly overcome, so she got me dirt. And then CNC called up saying she was sending some of the guys at her electrical contracting job to my house. They fixed the dimmer in the living room, the switch in UN's kitchen, installed IKEA lights in my bedroom and ran a line to bring light onto the deck. So now I have a fixture out there. It won't be pitch-ass black when folks (the ones I allow on my deck) come to sit. Although it was nice sitting in the dark... but I digress.
While I was working, I wondered why this one was easier to shut down. It doesn't hurt any less. If I thought about it hard enough I could cry but I won't allow myself. I'm not trying to convince anymore people of anything. Even if I think they're wrong. Even if I know that if they opened themselves to step outside of what they knew, they would see what I see. Cuz that's been the problem with me all along, my whole life. I can look at something and see so clearly how it would benefit someone to try.... go someplace they've never been, do something they've never done. Just once. And some people just refuse. And it's not worth trying to convince them. I see it... it hurts so much that they don't. I hurt for them, at the loss they don't even know they're suffering. I know, why should I? It's not hurting them, any, right? But it's the way I'm built. The shit I'm doomed to carry. But I'm not trying to convince anybody anymore. OK, fuck it. You don't get it. You don't feel it. You won't try it. Your loss. Mine, too... but I'll get over it. Cuz there will never be another Black August.
So, what's left is to finish rearranging pots, plant a few more things. Try to clean off the couch cushions again, create a "Zen" corner with the old Buddha that's still holding on, put a rug under the dining area, break down the old barbecue and set up the new one, put up the umbrella...
...underneath it all there's an ache, and a loss... there's stuff I'm missing but...
...I'm going to break out the beer and the barbecue and live my life wholeheartedly and to the best of my ability... cuz the truth is I honestly don't see the point of living any other way.