On the porch of the house that I don’t have, there are well-tended plants on wicker stands, a porch swing, and two overstuffed chairs. The stone steps leading up to the porch of the house I don’t have are wide and welcoming. I never know who I’ll find sitting on them when I step out with my morning coffee to take in the day and enjoy the tropical breeze.
This morning, it was Robin Williams. Yes.
And I said, “Gooooooooood mooooooorrrrrrning Robin Williams!”
He said, “Chicken. It’s been too long. Want to go for a swim? I brought my trunks. Like them?”
I said, “Robin. I adore them! Where did you find twin elephants?”
He said, “Sky Mall. They’re identical. That’s rare with elephants”
I wanted to ask if they were African elephants, but I thought that might sound racist, so I bit my tongue. My tongue was pissed. It hates when I do that.
Nobody likes a biter.
When I was a puppy, one of my favorite things to do was dig up the neighbor’s lawn. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the neighbors. It was that I really loved their lawn. There was this one spot in the back left corner, by the garage, that was just the right consistency for my little puppy paws. Also, I’m sure there was something there once; a bone, a dead mouse…I’m not sure, but the smell of that dirt was divine. I loved to chase tennis balls, too. I’d chase any ball a thousand miles. Not frisbees, though. Frisbees are awkward and they hurt my small mouth.
Now that I’m an old dog, I don’t dig dirt or chase balls. I spend a lot of time trying to learn new tricks, but it is hard. Sometimes I get so tired. When that happens, I take a nap and dream about dirt and balls, but not frisbees.
Tomorrow, instead of going to work, like I would normally do on a Monday, I’m heading West. I don’t really know what direction West is, but what I’ll do is, I’ll get on I-95, and then I’ll keep driving until I find a route sign with a W on it, and then I’ll take that exit. Then I’ll just keep taking all the “W” exits I see. Sooner or later, I’ll get where I’m going, wherever that is. Somewhere West of here. Although, it probably wouldn’t make a difference if I went South. Or North, although it’s cold there. East would be difficult without a boat. I’m not a very good swimmer.
Last night, when I woke up during Daylight Savings Time, I looked in the mirror that hangs on my closet door, and I saw an old farm. It was red, with a roof that sloped further on one side than the other, although that could have been the mirror playing tricks on me, and it had three big barn doors, all painted white with big red Xs. They reminded me of Mrs. Waits. She was a little, old woman who lived down the hill from my parents in an old house beside a big yellow barn, with candy cane striped barn doors. When I was in elementary school, she sometimes substitute taught. One such day, she told us that her birthday was on Greyhound Day. Wait…..No. I mean, Groundhog Day. I tucked that little tidbit somewhere in my brain, and many years later, when I didn’t go to school anymore, I was driving by Old Mrs. Wait’s house and I remembered that she was very nice to my older brother, once, and I remembered that Groundhog’s Day was tomorrow, and so it would be her birthday, also. I went to the store and found a birthday card with a cheery yellow envelope, and I signed it, “Love, the Groundhog”. I left it in her yellow mailbox in the middle of the night. I was probably half baked. I usually was back then.
Now every Groundhog Day, I look for Old Mrs. Wait’s shadow.
If I could travel back in time, I’d go back to right around the time those white dudes “discovered” America. In an uncharacteristically unfriendly move, I would burn their ship so they would have to stay forever and everyone in the homeland would think the ship was lost. The king would have to write the whole endeavor off on his taxes and the commoners would be angry about this whole New World fiasco the king had signed them on for. I would teach the stupid white children to fish and hunt and live with the earth, the sky, and the wind. I’d give them moccasins, send them on a vision quest, and hope for the best. We’d harvest the corn, kill a wild turkey, and give thanks.