On Sunday when I was collecting damp towels from the back porch railing, a wasp stung me in my hand. On Monday, Molly the pony died. When our neighbor dug her grave, he found gray dusty dirt that he said had been there since the time of glaciers. Now T has three plastic containers – which used to hold peanut butter – full of the dirt on his windowsill.
I am reading a terrible book about dark matter and the universal energy field and soccer. The characters are boring me into a stupor, but the thing about the energy field buzzing around us, unseen, is tempting.
The towels were damp because we haven’t had enough sunny hours in a row to dry them. I had to stick them in the dryer. I’ve been damp for so long I forget what it feels like to be dry. L has started doing a weird thing with his breath, and it scares me, and I feel like if he could just spend some time in Arizona where the heat is a dry heat, he’d feel better.
Molly’s hole filled with water as our neighbor was digging it. Later we gave him a case of beer and a batch of rice crispy treats as a thank you. I find that funny – he’s taciturn and old-school, and he loves rice crispy treats.
The first sign that all was not well with Molly was a runny nose. I am not the kind of mother who is impressed with runny noses. “Carry a cloth!” I always say. “You’re fine!” Molly didn’t seem too bothered by her runny nose. She still ate her food. The next day, though, she did not eat her food, and a lack of appetite is something I am impressed by.
Mine is now the only five year old in the world with pictures of a dead pony on his Leapster game system.
Here’s what I want to do. Drive to someplace sunny and sit in the sun and read a book. While sipping lemonade, and then, later, white wine. I do not want to do any more laundry, any more work, any more caring for children. Not today. I just want a sunny spot and a cool drink and a book. Even a bad book would be fine.
Molly’s burial was as sweet as could be. Words were said. Handfuls of grain were sprinkled over her. Flowers were laid on the subsequent mound of dirt. T nailed a cross together and stuck it over where her head had been. If you know us well, you’re wondering about that cross. We are not religious, but we are open to interpretation, and if T chooses that particular interpretation, well, so be it.
Yesterday I put more towels on the back porch railing, making sure to keep an eye out for wasps. Those towels, today, are soaking wet. In a minute I’ll load them into the dryer.
While the men were digging the hole, I checked on the other two horses, who seemed unaffected, but were standing unusually close together in the back paddock. On my way back to the driveway, the dead pony, the growing hole, I discovered a small field of black-eyed Susans in the chicken pen. Some days hold more than their share of surprise.