Sorry guys. I had to take down the interview. Apparently the search engines could still find it, and it’s just too dangerous for my family and me. Maybe the next interview will make up for it. 🙂
This weekend, I decided to help my son-in-law, Shane, by doing all the yard work: mowing, weed-whacking, blowing, etc. He does this for us in exchange for Erik’s truck, and, loving him the way I do, I always wanted to help him out. “No, no. I don’t want you to help. I know how to do it the right way,” he’d say time and time again. But since Michelle, Arleen and he were off camping, I thought it’d be a great surprise. Wow. It was a lot harder than I thought. We have a pretty big yard, and it’s got so many odd shapes and turns to navigate. I knew he liked diagonal stripes in the front and I tried my best, for the love of God and everything holy, but there we little stick-out thingies and curves and narrow pieces. So I panicked and just pushed that mower all over the place randomly leaving little islands of grass that I’d get to later. Stepping back to look at my work, I thought, ‘Hmm. not bad. Creative lines, in fact. Picasso would be proud. I don’t know about Shane, though.’ Next, the back yard. The mowing was okay until I ran over some old electrical box half-buried in thatch that had been part of tree lighting of an old oak that has long since fallen. The box shattered into a million pieces, and the lawn mower just stopped. Dead. Kaput. Great. I bent down to examine the damage to the box and to pick up all the pieces in an effort to hide the evidence, but I got a big shock. An electrical one. SCREAM. I accidentally touched a live wire. First, I checked for a pulse (mine) to make sure I hadn’t defibrillated myself. Then I tried to re-start the lawnmower. No go. I kept trying and trying, then twirled the blade around and tried again not even understanding how the hell that would help anyway. (I was a little worried doing this because what if it was like twirling the propeller on a plane to start it. If that were the case, I’d soon be fingerless. Or handless. But desperate times call for desperate measure so I did it anyway. After a few twirls, I yanked on the pull cord and got it started. Thank god. No one will be the wiser. I finished the mowing, all the while wracking my brain to figure out where the electrical shut-off was for the outside so that I could cap off the wire without getting a perm.
Next, the weed-whacking. I tried to start the damn thing over and over, and it refused to comply. Oh, yeah. What about the gas? Empty. So I searched among the 6-7 small gas cans in the shed and found one that had a little fuel in it. I filled up the plastic tank on the weed-whacker, wondering in the back of my mind if it was mixed with oil and, if so, if the weed-whacker was supposed to have that kind of gas/oil mix. What the hell, I plowed through an electrical box, probably ruining the mower; what’s one more piece of equipment. My instincts were (finally) correct. It started. Early into the job, I started edging the three thousand miles of gardens and curbs with what I would find to be a cumbersome, stubborn monster. After over-scalping grassy areas and creating very inventive squiggly, meandering edges, I got the hang of it. Then I got to the high grass around Lukas’s grape plant. It was covered with bird netting, so I hiked it up all around. Apparently not enough. The weed-eater, which had transformed from enemy to friend, became my nemesis once again, catching a piece of the netting and wrapping it up what seemed to be acres of the stuff. Then, the speed-feed head fell into pieces and the whole contraption stopped. Frantically, I dissected the netting out with a pair of scissors. My fervor was akin to cutting a fishing net off of a dolphin struggling to breathe. I got the damn thing off, and started pondering my next step. How do I put this thing together again? I don’t remember what it looked like to begin with. If only Erik had been there as my partner in crime to help me cover my tracks. I didn’t want Shane to find out, so I scoured through YouTube video after YouTube video for instructions and found one made by what sounded like an 8-year old boy. (Being 50 years my junior really took the wind out of my sails.) He patiently described and illustrated step-by-step at a pace befitting my cognitive abilities at the time, and, with his gentle guidance, I got it done. I beamed with pride. It was out of string, and we had some in the shed, but I’ll be damned it I was going to mess with that! Shane would probably just think he neglected to keep it filled up.
Without a functioning weed-whacker, I couldn’t complete the rest of the job, which probably wouldn’t have taken more than 15 minutes. Still, what needed to be completed was obvious. There was tall grass around various trees, the air conditioning compressors, and fence line. I took stock in it all, my OCD mind fretting the whole time. Then I covered the live wire with an old garden pot, thought, ‘Fuck the blowing,’ went inside and cried. I called my daughter to tell her the story and to share how upset I was that Shane would find out, and then I cried some more. She laughed, of course, but I didn’t see the humor in it at the time. All I could think of is how my surprise for Shane was not the surprise I intended.
Not exactly on a happier note, but this weekend, my sister, Laura, brought over some photos that were in my parent’s place. She’s been cleaning things out since my father died. In that huge stack, there were several ones of Erik as a little kid. It made me think, “If we only knew what we know now,” or “He had no idea what was inevitably to come in his future.” That cute little face. That cute little smile. It made me wish a wish that will never come true. It made me very, very sad.
Here’s a post from our friend, Daniel, who obviously had his shit more together than me. Good luck!
Now, I know this is not the most exciting post, but I had to publish it eventually. Don’t bitch about it because I’ll probably be in a pissy mood the entire week. (Just kidding. I’ve been laughing my ass off while typing up this sad little anecdote.)
Me: Erik, why is your eBoard—I’m having so much fun with it by the way—what’s different about that compared to any other Ouija board?
Erik: Cuz I’m awesome!
Jamie and I laugh.
Me (sighing): Well, I know. Awesome sauce.
Erik: Nah, I just think it’s easier for people to talk on the eBoard because we put the sayings on there.
He’s talking about sayings like, “Hell yes,” “Fuck no,” “Ego Attack: When will you get over yourself,” “I’m okay,” “Love yourself and shut the fuck up,” “I love you. You da bomb,” “Laughing my ass off. That shit’s so funny,” “Set better boundaries. Dude, it’s time.” “See ya,” “Miss you,” “Ask a better question. WTF, be direct,” “Open your mind for answers. Cannabis will work for that,” “Love yourself and shut the fuck up,” “Feel first, think second. We are emotional beings.”
Erik: I like the size.
Me: Mm hmm.
It is huge, y’all. More fun to play with when that planchette dances across the board like a figure skater.
Erik: Most importantly, it’s the sayings, and it’s simple. Have you seen some of those other boards that have like a thousand symbols on them?
Me: Oh, no. No.
Jamie (to Erik): I know exactly what you’re talking about.
Erik: Ours is just clean; it has the time of day, and it has the, um—
Jamie (to Erik): It’s called the sliding scale, Erik. (To me) There’s a sliding scale between yes and no.
Me: Oh! I didn’t know you’re supposed to use it like that! I thought it was just, “yes,” “no,” and “on the fence.”
Jamie: Yeah! It’s like 25%, 50%–
Me: Yeah! I get it. Erik, I hate when you put it on “on the fence.” I want a concrete answer.
Me: Some people can’t work it. Rune can’t. When I asked Erik why, he said he’s just too grounded.
Jamie: Yep. That’s exactly what he showed me in an image. The energy just doesn’t move through him.
Me: Yeah. So, how can you unground a person temporarily?
Me (chuckling): Besides smoking pot or whatever!
Jamie: Ha, ha, ha, ha! He laughed.
Me: When I asked Erik what Rune could do to make the board work, his first reply was, “Wear clean underwear!”
Jamie laughs hard.
Jamie: That’s awesome!
Me: Erik’s been saying from really funny things! So, Erik, how can we unground this guy?
Erik: Mom, I don’t think you do. Some people have it—that’s like saying, “You can’t be my friend unless you dye your hair red.”
Me: Oh, okay. Also, a lot of people have big egos, and that seems to interfere, too. I can’t find anybody in my family that doesn’t have a big ego! (I chuckle.) I’m not talking about annoying egos like narcissism. I’m just talking about strong egos, a strong sense of self.
Erik: That does suck.
Me: I know. So, you can’t do anything about that, right?
Erik: Nope. Can’t change it.
Me (in jest): Dammit. You’re just no help at all, Erik!
Erik: Doggone it.