“What’s the writing assignment that’s due in our writer’s group tomorrow?” I asked Russ for the fourth time that week. The assignment was usually a unique topic designed to stretch our imaginations.
“Bored with dark glasses,” he answered between tightly drawn lips, and over the noise of his electric razor. Russ never liked shaving and talking at the same time because he usually cut himself, so his answers were always succinct. I, personally, don’t understand that. I can shave my legs and talk at the same time. Sometimes, on a good day, I could even shave my legs and walk at the same time.
No matter. Meandering into the kitchen, I pulled on my copper-tinted Maui Jim shades. They didn’t seem that boring, so for a little hands-on experiment, I decided to walk out into the bright sunshine without them and gaze at the sun.
The minute I looked up at El Sol, dark spots the size of a Boeing 747 zinged through my eyeballs, and boring or not, I needed those sunglasses. Turning in a circle, I tried to remember which direction I should walk to reach the house. The dark spots turned with me and I staggered toward something tall. Surely, that was the door.
“Aaackkk—the clothesline pole,” my brain screamed as I bounced off the post. A knot the size of a tractor tire grew out of my forehead, while the wasps that lived in the hollow pole flew toward me, sharpening their little harpoon butts on the way.
You don’t need good vision to know when a swarm of angry buggers are after you. I ran pell-mell toward what should have been the gate, the dark spots in my eyes fleeing with me.
Who, with any brains, leaves tools in front of the gate? For that matter, who moved the gate over to the garden? Tripping over the Mantis tiller, I tumbled through the vegetable patch, tomatoes splatting against my face while the wasps buzzed merrily behind me. I slid to a stop at the end of the row and lay there, swatting at the bees and planning revenge on the man who forgot to put away the tiller.
Then the screen door creaked open.
Laughter. Someone was laughing. I looked up and saw Russ with a halo around his head. A halo was a definite impossibility for the man who’d left a mechanized garden tool for me to trip over.
Certain that he had it coming to him, I grabbed the nearest tomato. Just as I let it fly in his general direction, I heard Russ’s voice floating past on the breeze, “Cindy, we have company.”
My vision cleared in time to see Corky Porky Pie, the dog, licking drips off our visitors’ shoes as Russ wiped splattered tomato from their faces. He apologized profusely as he walked our guests out of the yard and to their car.
I hollered at their retreating backs, “Wait! Come back! I’m not usually like this. It’s just that I’m a writer.”
As they jumped in their car and peeled out of the driveway, I lay in the dirt and pondered life’s golden questions. Who am I? Where have I come from? Where am I going? And most importantly of all … why can’t I call back a Beefmaster tomato after chucking it at a pair of new home teachers?
Okay, so I know that last thought has never been included in the golden questions, but I’m here to tell you folks … it should be!
Ever wanted to kill your spouse because he/she keeps interrupting something you're trying to do? If so, you'll get a charge out of Cindy's latest published story, "Texting on Ice" in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey.