“Cleaning the Garage”


This one is a bit weird one…Just a bit of a writing exercise of some observations from the other night. I’m trying to write more to get in the habit, even if the topic is mundane. Enjoy (maybe).

I feel good. My head is spinning a bit, but a bit of bourbon after a bike ride sometimes does that. Not enough bourbon to trip me up…just enough to make me feel a touch giddy. It’s Thursday night Whyand the buzz has washed over me and I feel good. Relaxed. Ready to do something…anything to be productive in these one-day-melting-into-the-next-day coronavirus days. The quarantine thing will end eventually and I’ll need to feel like I accomplished more than helping to deplete the national bourbon reserves. And I feel strong, powerful and a bit creative…just the things needed to clean the garage that has barely enough room for a man my size to stagger through.

So I am ready and willing and excited to tackle the job…but first…a snack.

The air is so nice with a late spring smell to it…Maybe it is a mix of pollen and flowers with a touch of fertilizer, but it is a wonderful smell.

The sun sits just above the horizon, giving it the appearance that it is trying to sneak a peak under the trees as it casts shadows that seem to be stretching so far that they are reaching for the rising moon.

The chilled air feels perfect…the type of air that makes you realize that despite it still lingering just a bit, you survived the winter and that the shorts and tee shirt you are wearing is telling what’s left lingering to go to hell.

The birds chirping is almost frantic I imagine them giving one last try at finding a mate or a last bit of food before the sun sets. Maybe they wanted my MoonPie.

And that MoonPie…well, that completed the perfection of sensory inputs. I don’t know if I have ever tasted one so damn good as I stand in the middle of the driveway, my back to the garage, watching the sun set. A few crumbs drop to the ground as the weird cake crumbles around the two “patties” of marshmallow. Really, what is the cake made from? I guess it doesn’t matter; it is just a marshmallow and chocolate delivery system, and it is really hitting the spot.

For some reason, it stirs memories locked deep down inside of me…Things I have not thought of in maybe 30-35 years from grammar school.

Everyday the Cookie Girl would come around with a box of Lance snack products. For 35 cents you could pick whatever you wanted (it was 25 cents when I was in 2nd grade, but I’ll blame that on Reagan and not the Cookie Girl). I would always get either the Peanut Butter Wafer Cookies (basically Little Debbies Nutty Buddy) or a Chocolate Big Town (if I remember the name correctly). Usually the Big Town, which was basically a single-decker MoonPie, won out. It wasn’t often that I got money to buy from the Cookie Girl, so I savored the opportunity when it happened. And with the perfect weather and a good bike ride under my belt and some good bourbon (okay, it wasn’t really good bourbon and it wasn’t even bourbon…it was a strange and super tasty Rye mix drink in a can that Andrea found for me that packed a punch and I am embarrassed to admit I drink) taking my brain on a vacation from the normal coronavirus anxiety, I savored that MoonPie much more than I should have, and I savored the cheap liquor fueled journey back in time.

I finish my snack and turn my attention back to the garage. I head back in and start to clear off the shelves when I come across a bucket of practice foam golf balls. I had to step around my golf bag to get into that corner and before I knew it, I was using my pitching wedge to hit the balls across the yard. I think October of 2016 was the last time I went golfing and my swing was an easy indicator of it. Even though I still had that nice buzz and the air still felt perfect, after about 10 balls that went a grand total of maybe 20 feet, I decided to pick them up. I put the club away and grab the bucket. (Before picking them up, I decide to take a couple of one handed swings at them, and they started flying perfectly. Note to self for next time I golf…Cheap booze and a one handed, off balance swing will improve my game. For sure.)

One ball made it a fair distance and landed about 20 feet from our hammock that hung under a big shady tree. I already mentioned how perfect the night was and soon found myself staring up through the green leafy branches feeling as if the madness of the last several months was a million miles away.

I could fall asleep. I sway slowly back and forth, with no effort from me, leaving me wondering why it doesn’t stop swaying, which is the extent of my worries at the moment. The trees straight up are lush, green and dense, with the deep blue sky pushing through in only a couple of small spots. I want to fall asleep there but with twilight settling in around. I wonder how long before anyone comes looking for me if I do and the dark comes on. I decide to force myself to stay awake and watch as squirrels play in the trees off to the side. One squirrel takes a long hard look at me and I am sure he was thinking I was the biggest nut he had ever seen. He makes me nervous.

Eventually, I stop procrastinating and wander back to the garage. Surprisingly, I make decent progress with the night settled in, as my buzz wears off.

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