Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Rocking the Suburbs

Or, in my case, raking the suburbs. Potentially, ALL of the suburbs. Which would be why currently? My hands no longer work.

I spent all weekend doing yard work. Yes. YARD work. The funny thing is the reaction when I tell people this, because there is generally a moment of uncomfortable silence, and then they say to me very gently, as though talking to a crazy person who could go off the deep end at any moment, “But Citycat… you don’t HAVE a yard.”

Yes, I know this. I live in a high-rise for a reason, actually, several reasons, one of which is yard work. It’s not that I mind yard work per se, exactly, in theory it’s great. You are outdoors, communing with nature, there is instant gratification in seeing the yard improve, it’s good exercise- all of which I am totally a fan of. However, there are a few things about the actual practice of yard work that I have issues with, namely:

There Are Creatures.

Y’all. I do not do nature, and this is entirely the fault of things with more than 4 legs. Anything four legged, I can handle. In fact, anything NO legged I can handle as well, including things that make others twitch, like snakes and Jurassic-sized earthworms. But more than 4 legs? No. Just, no. Case in point: A few months ago Kate, E, and I had a cockroach in the apartment. This occasionally happens, especially in spring, but usually I don’t even know about it until I find its Jake-battered corpse (good kitty!), or I make E or Kate take care of it. This time was different, for three reasons:

1. It touched me.
2. Jake did not see it.
3. Kate and E were not home.

So what did I do? Did I kill the cockroach as it sat on the chair? Did I trap the cockroach as it sat on the chair? HELL NO. That would mean approaching the cockroach, and I do not do that. Instead, I grabbed a book and wine and sat on the balcony, door firmly between me and the roach, for an hour and a half until Kate and E came home.

Clearly, I am not so much brave when it comes to creatures.

But if you think I am bad with roaches, you should SEE me with spiders. Because I am not simply afraid of spiders. I don’t simply think they are gross or icky. What I have is an actual pathological fear of them, where even small ones make me freeze entirely unable to do much more than shriek and shake. I am not proud of this, but this is true. I have even passed out at the sight of an infestation of spider crickets once, which are not even actual spiders, they just imitate them for the sole purpose of fucking with me.

Yard work implies creatures. Hundreds and hundreds of creatures. This does not bode well for me.

However, the Peanut needed help with yard work, and I volunteered because I am a good friend with severe mental issues. So for 2 days last week, I faced my fears (sort of), rakes thousands of leaves, and battled the most Evil Vine on Earth (more on that later.) I am going to break this post up, because it is long, and the next one will be a summary of Day 1: The Scary Side of The House. (aka: Where the Wild and Disgusting Things Are.)