Sunday, May 2, 2010

74. Grapevines (Freakwater - Old Paint)

"Jesus said, 'A grapevine has been planted away from the father. Since it is not strong, it will be pulled up by its root and will perish."-The Gospel of Thomas verse 40, translated by Marvin Meyer

When I came home from work, they were just finishing up. The panel van says KI Landscapes and has a sticker on the bumper that says "Free Soviet Jewry in Each Package." h, right, ha ha. And then I looked at the house.

They had taken the ivy down, ripped it right out of the stucco wall, leaving huge holes. We told em, trim it up, you know, don't wanna get too shaggy cause the neighbors might get restless. Well, they did that all right. The fucking plaster is falling out of these fucking POTHOLES in my house.

And the grapevines... we had planted the grapevines after Laura's second miscarriage. She said it might be good to get something living, something we could watch grow. I said fine, it would be a lot easier than having a kid around doing a Linda Blair act 24/7. I didn't say that last part aloud. So we got an arbor for the front walk and planted some concord grapes. I didn't have to water them so they were ok by me. And it had been a couple of years, a couple of desperate years and they too were getting shaggy so we asked KI Landscapes if they could, you know, trim em up. Cause you don't get any fruit unless it's on new growth.

So these fucking morons cut the loving grapevines down to nubs. And I know Laura is gonna say it's my fault... I walk over to the side yard and there's the guy, KI i guess, and his 12-year old son piling all our grapevines and grapes in a big heap.

"Hey," I started. The older guy grunted without looking up and the kid, some kid with a big-ass flop-mop of shiny black hair looks up and smiles.

"Y'all went a little far with the landscaping."

The older one gave a redneck version of the gallic shrug. I started to say something, when suddenly it hit me that there was fuck-all i could do, I couldn't fucking GLUE the fucking vines back. I reached for my wallet and handed the older guy the forty bucks, and he walked towards the front yard. He turned around before disappearing. "Kento, see if you can bring me them clippers."

I don't know why, but being left alone with the kid... maybe cause he can't fight back... I wanted to just break his face, just wipe that grin right off. I counted to ten, twenty, finally said, "You know, we've been growing those for a couple of years, and uh, they had a lot of grapes on em."

The kid picked up his dad's clippers and looked at the pile.

"All the grapes are still there," he said, pointing.

"Yeah. They are, I guess" I said.

They left and I wondered if i had enough time to go to the store for a quick beer and some mint gum before Laura came home. I was just starting to walk there when she pulled up. She looked at the house with horror.

"Hey honey. It's ok, honey" I said. "All the grapes are still there."

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