Recommended wine for today’s entry: I believe I will bust open a bottle of 2008 Altos Las Hormigas Malbec, which I am chilling ever-so-slightly first for an added note of refreshment. After toiling in the garden for an hour and a half, I find my throat a bit parched and my attitude in need of an adjustment that only a glass of wine can provide. This Argentinian Malbec is described at kenswineguide.com as “This reasonably priced everyday Malbec shows well every vintage. This year it is dark ruby colored and opens with a mild black cherry and cranberry bouquet. On the palate, this wine is medium bodied, balanced, slightly acidic and juicy. The flavor profile is a tasty black cherry with notes of black raspberry and light old oak. The finish is dry and its very mild tannins are subtle.”
Well, you all will certainly be glad to hear that I attended a writer’s workshop in Ohio last weekend. I imagine you will be awed by the sudden improvement in my eloquence and my ability to convey just how dull and mundane my life is. So read on, faithful follower (notice that is a singular) … as I weave a web of intrigue for you!
I really did learn quite a bit of useful information at the conference. One of the things that really stuck in my mind was when one of the leaders told us to always think in similes and metaphors … to constantly observe everything around us and equate those things that are hard to describe with something that everyone knows. And as she was saying this, I had a view of the head of the guy in front of me. And growing out of his ears were … hmmm, my first thought was “rosebushes,” but then I realized that they certainly hadn’t been pruned into any particular shape since, well, since he was born, I suppose. So I thought, “He was a nice man, with a crisply starched shirt and a thick Middle Eastern accent. Tumbleweeds of hair grew wild and free from his ears, looking, I supposed, for a corner in which to lodge themselves.”
As you can see, I’m a quick learner.
Today I decided to practice my descriptions by telling you what I saw, smelled, heard, felt and tasted while weeding the flowerbed in front of the house. You are in for a treat, because it was an exciting experience that you will sure enjoy.
I started with a beanstalk that still had the outlines of Jack’s shoes on its leaves. “Oomph,” I said as I hammered the spiky tool deep in the surrounding clay, using a trowel to pound it in. “Crap!” I shouted when I pounded my pinkie and it began to throb like my pulse when I don’t take my blood pressure medicine. Inside the house, I heard the dog bark, as if he was saying, “Dad! Mom’s cussing in the front yard and her pants are droopy in the back like a plumber.”
Then I set my sights on the weeds that my husband told me the name of last weekend as we worked in the same area of the backyard. I would tell you what he said they are called but I wasn’t listening to him. Here is what I know about them: when you touch them, or look at them or blink or breathe, they go POOF! and they inseminate you by shooting their seed into every orifice on your body. I am not kidding, the little bastards go from dormancy at the end of 5,000 little green fronds to lining the insides of your nose within a nanosecond. Then, when I moved my hand to wipe my nose, their second string shot down my throat, like someone bulleted Pop Rocks into my mouth with a bazooka.
“STOP IT YOU SONOFABITCHES!” I heard the voice, feeble from the onslaught, as if from a distance. “I’LL KILL YOU … I’LL DIG YOU UP AND SHOVE YOU SO FAR INTO THE GARBAGE CAN THAT NO AMOUNT OF SELF-PROPAGATION WILL SAVE YOU FROM EXTINCTION!”
Then I moved on to the dandelions, once yellow and perky and reminiscent of Moe’s hairdo on The Three Stooges, but now, in their demise, fragile and drained of color. Gingerly I approached, careful not to allow THIS species to spread their evil seed, blocking the cool breeze that rustled them so they wouldn’t disperse their little white gnats throughout the garden, where they would burrow into the soil and erupt in new gobs of dandelion glory as soon as I put away my trusty trowel. I don’t know why, but worms love to live next to dandelion’s deep roots and I winced as I heard them screaming. “She’s cut me in half,” I heard a British worm say, “bloody wench, she’s cut my stomach right off of me and now I’ll have to wait until I regenerate to know if I’m bloody hungry or not!”
Well, hearing those kind of horrifying things will make even the toughest gardener sit back on her heels. So I sat back on my heels and realized that I’d squatted down and gotten up about three times and, that being the definition of lunges, I went to replace the calories I’d been burning. The Weight Watchers ice cream bar was a cooling salve making its way down my Pop Rock plant-irritated throat. Afterward, I lined up worm pieces on the bricks lining the garden, hoping that the heads would recognize their lower extremities and, like a mother whose child has been away at the first day of school, scoop it up and reattach it to its rightful place. But that didn’t happen.
Finally, I looked at the soft-looking, mounding plant with small purple flowers. I felt a deep sadness that these poor weeds worked so hard to look like flowers — like the insecure eighth-grader who wears a cheerleading uniform for Halloween. There they were, trying so hard to fit in; trying to be popular and pushing their little lavender faces to the sun.
So I left them. I’d had enough similes and metaphors in the garden. Now I need some wine to finish soothing my weed-laden throat. Those Pop Rock plant sonofabitches.