Working in the Park
I was up to late last night, thinking about a solution to a scientific problem I’m working on, but with the help of a Costco brand OTC sleep-aid, I slept until 8:30. I got up and and helped my wife, Muri, get the house ready for our housekeeper (a statement that puzzles me each time I say it) then headed over to the park. The plan was to do a little writing then work on my laptop to see if my idea actually works. Nothing makes me feel gratefully self-employed as much as working in the park. My Inner Curmudgeon likes it there, too, but he requires that certain conditions be met or he does what curmudgeons do.
When we got here today, Condition Number One had been violated … there was someone parked in our favorite spot by the lake. And in a car I’d love to own but can’t really justify by cost, a shiny black Tesla Type S. The nerve. With IC already grumbling, I drove to my second favorite parking place. Spot number two, which doesn’t have quite the view of number one, is shady and overlooks a nice grove of trees. Unfortunately, my spot number two is spot number one for the Lab Lady. For years, the Lab Lady has spent most of every day driving her chocolate Lab around MY park, finding him squirrels to bark at. However, she has apparently decided to save gas by tossing peanuts to draw the squirrels down from the trees so Woofie can chase them back up the trees and stand there barking. The Lab Lady and Woofie showed up two minutes after I rolled into spot number two, so with IC cussing in my head, I headed out to check out option three, a shady spot overlooking a playing field. There are, by the way, only three options, beyond which IC goes ballistic. Three boys were playing kickball there, shouting and squealing with each kick under the watchful eyes … and smiling faces … of their grandparents. If they were my grandkids, I’d have been smiling, too, but they weren’t so I wasn’t. Goddamm Spring, IC shouted. Why don’t they keep the kids in school where they %$^% belong? And dogs in the freakin’ kennel. We’ll find another place, I said without much hope of satisfying him. I’m not, shouted IC, sitting in some generic parking place. Let’s go home.
But. Joy of joys, the Tesla guy had left, probably to go home and recharge, and I had my favorite spot. I rejoiced. IC rolled down the window and said, Listen to that. Shit. Two Mom’s were trying to take photos of their babies by the lake, doing practically anything to get the little buggers to smile but getting only unhappy wails. Wait, said I. I rolled up the windows, put some Peter White jazz on the radio, reclined the seat and took a nap. And when I awoke forty five minutes later the babies were gone. My wife, Muri, stopped by with a salad for lunch and I’m back to work. In the park. And IC is quiet. For now. But there’s a crow cawing in a nearby tree and I think I see the Lab Lady headed this way …