Time was I could fix anything with my fist or foot. Bamm, the furnace started. Bamm, the refrigerator quit humming. Cindy didn't like it, but there wasn't much she could say when it worked. Take the time the lawnmower died in the tall, gummy grass where the neighbor's dog unloaded in our yard. A Saturday morning. Hot and humid with bugs flying in my ears and biting my back where the sweaty tee-shirt stuck, and this rank odor coming up from all that dog crap. The mower coughed, choked, then stopped. Blue smoke and steam came from underneath. I pulled the starter rope. Nothing. I yanked again and again until I thought my damn arm would fall off, then grabbed the mower by the handle and spun around like a hammer thrower in the Olympics. I grunted, let go. A flying lawnmower. It hit the trunk of the silver maple. Moldy grass, rusty lawnmower parts and maple bark littered the ground. I swore at the son of a bitch, then let it lie there, bleed lubricants, while I went in the house, had a beer, maybe two.
Cindy said, "Look what you've done to the tree, look at that tree," then said that it was too early to drink, and I said I was on day light savings time, which was pretty clever considering the heat, bug bites, and the mower not working. I waited awhile, watched cartoons with Jake, then went outside and tried again, pulled the rope. Flames six inches long shot out the exhaust. The engine roared like the Saturn V taking off for the moon. I could have mowed down the lilacs, roses and rhododendrons if I'd wanted.
Cindy didn't like my swearing either, but I said, "Hey, a man's got to talk."
About the Author
Published by Texas Review Press