Today was a perfect day.
Like Rousseau, I share this confession to show what’s possible for a temperament like mine. Like yours, perhaps.
That, and I want to document it. I’m greedy that way.
I woke up and had breakfast with my family, just the four of us, at Village Cafe. The kids played near the fountain before and after breakfast. They pushed Matchbox cars around and made engine sounds.
I trimmed our Chinese Elm, the largest tree in our neighborhood, with the help of my wife. She stabilized the ladder as I climbed higher and higher. Branches fell, whackingly — head, shoulders and back. On both of us.
I watered and fertilized all the gardens, the family garden in the backyard and the guerrilla garden in the front yard. This took a long time. A neighborhood girl visited me in the front. She was curious.
“What if someone tears the garden up,” she asked.
“That’s a possibility. I hope they don’t. But if they do, I’ll plant it again.”
“What if a homeless person takes stuff from it,” she asked.
“That’s okay, that’s what it’s here for, for people to take things, anybody, tomatoes, squash, peppers, whatever.”
“Can I take stuff?”
“Yep, when it’s ripe.” This made her happy. She loped down the sidewalk toward home.
I spent an inordinate amount of time building a sign that read, “PLEASE ENJOY,” and pounded my finger by accident and then threw the sign out altogether when I decided, with the help of another interested neighbor, that that bit of advertising was totally unnecessary. Word will spread, he said. And I’d rather have it spread by word of mouth, anyway. Good riddance.
I argued with my wife over something ridiculously trivial, I’m sure. I can’t even recall the details. But what’s perfection without a serpent bellying about in one’s business? Heel it now, dig, I thought to myself. It worked.
I made home-made vanilla ice cream, with organic whipping cream and half and half. One and a half quarts of pure, unadulterated glory. I might even have another scoop.
I barbecued and drank two beers, not in quick succession, but over time. Slowly. Dinner was delicious.
I mowed the lawns and then ate my vanilla ice cream.
For all the things I did, there was a lot I didn’t do. Reading, for one. But I did think about books. Especially Molloy. The idea of reading is often better than reading itself. I know you’ll know what I’m talking about.
And of course I typed out a few words in a rush and am now ready for bed. What a day!
Tomorrow I’ll start a new book, either Francine Prose’s Blue Angel or Graham Greene’s The Heart of the Matter.
That decision will just have to wait.