Wednesday, October 1, 2014



I was visited yesterday morning by a young streetlady who calls herself Coy Tess, a strangely delightful creature with nine body-piercings and at least two square feet of tattoos. No, I told her, I do not want to see all of them: I am not turned on by a body, no matter how shapely, that looks like a huge Ming Dynasty/Wedgewood vase. She offered to vacuum my carpet for a small bottle of vodka. So be it. Just before she left she said that my potted pink geranium looked "melancholy." Melancholy!? I think I gasped. I know all to well where that can lead, so I knew immediately that something had to be done. But what? I have never been sensitive to the emotional needs of my plants; but I certainly did not want melancholia spreading among them, like some kind of blight. After a hectic, almost anguished exploration of my options, it occurred to me that taking a walk might be as beneficial to "Jerrie" as it is to me when my mood is on a gloomward spiral. She is too heavy to carry, and my old stroller has three broken wheels; so I fastened a flowerpot bracket onto my skateboard, lifted her into it, and then carefully pruned, trimmed, and clipped her so that nobody would think that I was neglectful or abusive. I fashioned a kind of sun bonnet out of three coffee filters, in case the sun got too hot for her (she lives mostly in shade). I attached a dog leash to one end of the board--and away we went, for a delightful twenty-block tour of downtown Chico! Some curbs and intersections were a bit troublesome, as were occasional crowded sidewalks, outside restaurant tables, bicycles and other skateboards; but it was one splendid event! People waved at Jerrie, even talked to her, cheered us on; and I wonder how many last night said to somebody else, "Today I saw a man (a nut?) walking his plant." When a cruising patrol car slowed down near me, I wondered if I were some kind of traffic violator; but all ended well, even though when we got back home I couldn't say that she looked any different. We'll see. In the meantime I hope my hydrangea doesn't look "sad": she's taller than I am.

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