Friday, November 2

Garbage, Home & The Unsinkable Mrs. Li

THIS is what I'm talkin' about: a truly respectable pile of garbage! (Can you see the little white, patent leather girl's shoe up on top of the block wall? That just appeared out of nowhere weeks ago on top of our mailbox). The Bobcat crew is in the neighborhood. They're early. They mean business. So do I. My junk hidden in the back yard was quickly transferred to accessorize the ju-jubee trimmings like so many cardboard, air-conditioner filter, roof rat doody greasy rag jewels. Not more than 32 minutes later, I hear the car pull up. Yes! A garbage-digger is pawing through our pile!

Check out the London Flog jacket, the nice car, the white older male; none of which support the garbage-digging profile. After a good 5 minutes of rearranging nasty things, he got away with 2 or 3 disposable cartons you use for left-overs in the fridge.

Since I am outside and armed with a camera, follow me. The Indian Corn on the door has been up there since last Halloween. Here is our very beautiful fake spider web. I took 3 pictures of a cute real spider waiting nearby, but none of them came out.

These are a few of the fake spiders.

This is only one example of the precious block wall we murder living plants to protect.

Here is the flowering shrub I told you about. Doesn't it look menacing?

And this is what the purple flower sort of looks like (sorry for the blur)on the luscious vine that USED to trail heavily over the ugly block wall in a generous cascade of these sweet flowers and large, classic leaves. You can see why this thing had to go. Seriously.

Conveniently enough, last night Ms. Li saw our door open as I was greeting our next-door neighbor Stella who stepped in to visit. She came scrambling over to interrupt and issue new orders: "You take out dead oleander in corner. Lady (the property behind us) say it fire hazard. She no want to see dead branches. O.K.?" I said, "As in...?" "You cut, you take down." (The pretty white lattice work is part of the neighbor's yard behind us). "Mrs. Li, that's your responsibility."

I reminded her that half our giant oleander hedge has been dead for almost a year from the blight, a bacteria. Like this section, for example:
I was acutely aware of the neighbor's little boy who speaks mostly Russian and Mrs. Li's grandson rushing Rachel's bedroom in tandem while we adults were distracted. I could hear the rustling sound of candy being pillaged. "I get so much trouble when I pay for help, you know? They always complaining, complaining I pay too less. But you cut please, O.K.? I get man come for rest when can do. You cut, O.K.?" I told her we'd "try".

She left with the rent money in its customary white envelope in hand. "MI-CHAEL!" she screamed while smiling and waving good-bye. Michael ran out with candy in his fists. He said, "HE gave it to me!" when his grandma asked where he got it. Oh! O.K. A few minutes later Stella left pushing her baby in the stroller, her little boy barely able to walk impeded by Rachel's Halloween candy crammed into his pockets. We didn't say anything.

I don't know if Ray felt generous, or if 2 little boys were simply unstoppable. Mrs. Li is unstoppable.


Cynthia said...

That truly is a respectable pile. You should be proud of yourself. Thank you for the little photographic yard tour. Our girls just started on our pile-o-street-junk. I told them to empty the gargage can out of the back yard. They put the whole garbage can out by the street. I had to RUSH them back out there to empty the refuse and get the can back to our backyard. They were going to "get back to the project tomorrow". I had to explain the game to them, the can would vanish by morning. (It was a pretty decent back yard trash can!)I'm glad the tractors are loud. I'm always finding more last minute junk to toss out as they are working their way down our street.

the guitarist from hell said...

The second picture has given me an idea of my calling in the years to come, as I get older!! How lucky!