class 1

Rain drips slow.  The faux brick pathways glisten because we shoveled and the rain drips slow.

Mother pounds on my door this morning at ten ’til nine and clearly under the influence of her best authority, she barks throaty my first name and that we’ll be shoveling snow.  Sheezus.  Same way she calls me to dinner.  She grew up with ten brothers and sisters.  She’s very funny and she doesn’t know it.

Still, I’m thinking there might be a punchline.  Like she’ll come back an hour later advertising cinnamon raisin toast and hot chocolate.  I am not yet awake.

I’m not a morning guy.  I’m not an outdoorsy guy.  I don’t ski or snowboard.  I am not about any of this in any way.  I don’t hike.  I loath the cold as much as I loath the heat.  I’m forty four years old and living at home.  Temporarily.  If it wasn’t for the brutal knock on the door, these would not have been my first thoughts upon waking.  This morning, they sting me.  It is, after all, my own mother beseeching me.

I roll over while I roll my eyes.  I pull on some boots and jeans.  A shirt and it’s time to piss.  Check my eyes and nose for boogers.  A coat, and hat and here I came.  Not gonna brush my teeth yet.

Billy Jean, The Tripod Lab, revels in our shoveling.  She is black, happy and has a short but powerful whip for a tail.  She misses the right front leg clean from the shoulder.  She doesn’t care.  There are no social stigma among pets.  She can run like hell.  All the power coming from the hindquarters.  She doesn’t always steer very well.  She wipes out a lot.  We have no problem laughing.

She is happy and dancing.  To her it is a game.

I adore animals for their almost incorruptible innocence.

I throw shovels full of snow on her and she bucks and huffs with glee.  She is the world’s happiest dog and an anchor for my parents that you would have to witness to understand.  They dote.

The sun is out and I’ve taken off my hat and coat.  The sky is The Big Nevada blue.  I begin to sweat.  Mother is snuffling and sniffing but tearing it up.  Our breathy fogs hang in the crisp bright air.  My heart swells and I’m  grateful she got me up to do this.  I revel in the sound of our shovels scraping the ground.  Heels clicking and sliding on a polished mall floor.  Rocks tumbling from a pile.  Clay roller skate wheels on a sidewalk.

The sweet old man next door appears at the end of our driveway with a clattering red midget in his grip.  He ends up doing more good than harm.  Imagine what happens when the blower only blows two feet in either direction on a twenty five foot wide, seventy foot long driveway.  He let me make a couple passes but kept asking me if I was tired.  Never got to run one of these before.  This is an excellent morning.

It pulls to the right.

We’re in the back now and I think about throwing snow on my mother.  That she is out shoveling with me and moving just as much snow as me informs my reluctance.  I want to but this is going well.  I’m sweating and feeling vigorous.  I wish I could.  I will if the opportunity arises again.  I see me dumping a load of powder on her head.  I don’t mess with my mother much but I’m really feeling it.  Everyone owns a little crazy and I like my mother’s.

I might fling some and act it’s an accident.  I might, but I’m chicken.

Instead we shovel and talk, and I think about how vulnerable but how simultaneously tough she is.  I know what she’s afraid of and she need not worry.

Gin & tonics and cigarettes  at 4:30 with mother on the patio.  Billy Jean attends.  She eats dinner and her treats while mom and I wrestle her toys from her to throw as we survey the day.  We take turns negotiating the toys away from the Tripod Lab.  Smart dog.  We have to do good cop bad cop and variations thereof.  Mom and I talk.  I’m pretty sure we tell each other just about everything.

I know I tell her everything.

She tells me “You’re all I have everyday.”

We both have big mouths.

I believe it to be inherent.

We come in, wash our hands and begin dinner, sometimes I cook.

Rain drips slow.  The faux brick pathways glisten because we shoveled them and the rain drips slow.

7 Responses to “class 1”

  • Sometimes you remind me of Somerset Maugham! Step lightly on that walkway til it’s time to bring out the roller skates O.K.? There is nothing wrong with the Y.m.C.A, I think they give discounts to the underemployed, senior citizens and teenagers.

  • Sometimes you remind me of Summersault Migraine. Or no I mean, Sumner Sal My Grapes. One of those guys. Shovel that fluff, huff’n’puff. Nice to read a blog after so long and have it be a family snapshot featureing that old lovely bag you call mom. I don’t really mean to call her a bag, you kow I love that lady, but I retract nothing.

  • Bill Piltdown the 22nd:

    Dear Soda Pop Sandwich,
    I read with great glory your recollectings.
    I found them to be a fine tall tale that may be true, yet still tall.
    Does that mean I liked them?
    Yes.
    They were the Summer Sunset Maw of the great white harbinger.
    Delicate, yet bludgeoning.
    Your secret enemy,
    Fabwad

  • admin:

    @Mr. Piltdown:

    Sheezus, I’m delectable. Whooda thunk? My class liked it too. Had to read it today. Outloud. No panic. I think I read it kinda fast. People talked to me about it. That’s good.

    I vow to destroy fabwad. I’d like the head of everyone he associates with.

    Delicate yet bludgeoning indeed.

    And hey Bozo, I told my mother you called her “that old lovely bag you call mom”.

    I can’t even know about being compared to Maugham. I just don’t know about that.

  • Rhonda Z.:

    I really enjoyed this. You painted word pictures into my head. ^5 🙂

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