Erstwhile Muse

Apr 22, 2004

April Showers

Today was one of those days in the Ohio weather scene that I enjoy quite a bit; temperatures around the high 50's–low 60's, slightly blue-grey overcast sky to block out the wicked, evil daystar and an electricity in the air that promises rain. I was walking over to a friend's house after I got done posing for a morning class, soaking in that feeling of potential and expectation, as well as enjoying the wonderful sense of lushness that it granted to the plants around me. Grasses were thick and green, flowering dogwoods and lilacs were at their peak fullness and color it seemed.

Which is when it struck me that 75–90% of the city around me was probably bemoaning what a crappy day it was, and given another week or two most of those will have chopped and hacked their lawns back to a socially appropriate and therefore completely unnatural and visually boring height. The more obsessive amongst them will have scheduled yet another chemical tune-up for their lawn. They will have their concept of a green and healthy lawn to enjoy, unless of course they have children or small animals, at which point they must concern themselves with the small flags surrounding the wannabe putting green detailing the possibility of toxic chemical buildup. What they won't have is the rich visual tapestry I was enjoying today. Sadly though, I don't think most of them are going to miss it.

So I took Sarah out to Momo KTV & Tea Zone for some strangely fruit flavored tea with bubbles, after which we grabbed her dog and headed to the park for a walk. Unsurprisingly the park was rather empty of other people; Ohioans are somehow under the delusion that being in a temperate climate should mean all the plants stay green without it ever raining, and therefore are wholly incapable of doing anything outdoors when threatened with possible precipitation. There were a few diehard joggers out there to join us, but overall the park was deserted. Eventually a light misting rain did start raising our ODI (Overall Dampness Index), but luckily I have friends who are apparently a hardier lot, and we continued walking about enjoying the spring foliage, discussing the ethics surrounding the theft of said foliage—flowers, specifically—from public spaces, and trying not to be tripped by the dog.

Eventually we had our fill and returned to her house. Sarah plied me with coffee, which was good because lack of sleep from the night before was catching up to me. I said my goodbyes and wandered off down the road in the slowly increasing rain to Used Kids, a great used record store down on Campus. I grabbed a few things for my collection—Thomas Dolby, Jello Biafra & Mojo Nixon, and Evanescence (how's that for a combo?)—by which time the rain was now coming down at a nice soaking pace. Unperturbed, I grabbed a bus to head home, get some food and settle in for the night. It had been a good day, a rather enjoyable day, and I was not quite prepared for the first sight to greet me at the door.

All our shrubs had been chopped down.

Bereft of life, they laid in pieces.

I'm assuming the landlord has a reason for getting rid of all the shrubbery in front of our house. I was never even the biggest fan of them; they made it more difficult to get my bike onto the patio.

But to spend all day enjoying greenery and growing things, to come home to a front lawn that resembles something out of The Lorax—well, it's not quite irony, but it's getting dangerously close.

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