Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Morning Neighbors

I woke up this morning and said to myself, My head feels like a hot dog covered in mountain dew.  I said to myself, My head feels like an ass-cart with one of its wheels in a ditch.  I said, My head feels like a hot air balloon that's been stuffed into a laundry chute.  And then I got up, and made my coffee, and said to myself, My head feels like a grave digger, walking around in WalMart.  But my head didn't really feel like any of these things.  It felt like my head, and my thoughts felt like my own.   My garden had dew all over it.

I said some goodbyes last night.  I drank some beer last night, too.  I was lucky enough to have some company with my morning coffee this morning.  I didn't have to tell myself what my head felt like anymore.  I like company with my coffee.  It's nice to talk to someone beside your own head in the morning.  Sometimes my head is not the best company.  I do all my correspondence in the morning, too.  If there is nobody around, I find an electronic stand-in, a mind on the other side of an e-mail, a mind attached to a real person in my life.  This seems to be the essence of keeping a blog: a way to be less alone.  Or so it seems this morning, but the garden, too, is a place where loneliness stops.  There is no loneliness on a wet leaf in the morning.  

Surface tension.  Surfactants.  Soap berries.  My head feels like a soap berry that has gone to church too many times.  A surfactant is a compound that breaks the surface tension of water, essentially making water wetter.  I read about surfactants on a laminated placard in the grocery store yesterday.  I was near the detergents.  My company was somewhere else.  There was a wicker basket with strange-looking brown nuts in it.  Soap berries, from soap berry trees in east.  Berries that contain natural surfactants.  You can wash your clothes with berries.  In the morning, droplets of water cling to leaves until you jostle them and the water slides off.  I am in a good mood.  I have said most of my goodbyes.  I am excited to go.

Josh came down the street with his son.  He lives at the other end of the block.  He and his wife have incredible raised beds.  I recruited them a couple weeks ago to look after my fall crops while I'm gone.  What you've been seeing here are my fall crops: cabbages, broccoli, and here, tatsoi, a spinach-like Asian green.  Josh was curious about it.  I told him that I think it's sweet because the bugs prefer it.  Bugs tend not to bother the bitterest greens, the mustards.  Josh pointed at the tatsoi and said, May I?  He plucked a leaf and nibbled it.  His son plucked some and nibbled, too.  I liked seeing Josh walked down the street with his son on a Sunday morning.  Neighbors are good.  Neighbors mind your garden while you are gone in exchange for a bite of a leaf. 

This, alas, is the point where I must turn and remind you to click the 6.  Please click the 6.  It's like at church when they pass the collection basket around, but I am not a church and I wouldn't want to be one.  My head does not feel like a church with all of its shutters ripped off.  My head feels like it's ready to go.  I feel ready to go, too.  I cannot wait to get on the road and do this work.  Do you want to travel across the country with me?  You can.  You can sit in the passenger seat beside me and follow me into the lobbies of six motels.     


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