Natura Naturans, 2
It was only after I had struggled beneath the fence panel that I realised how easy it would’ve been to throw the empty rucksack over the top. Instead I’d dragged it through a gap that disappeared every time I touched the fence with barely the force of a stiff breeze. My feeble fence-wedge of bamboo canes wasn’t up to the task, although I had managed to avoid taking most of the skin off my face as I crawled on my back underneath. I would be removing a splinter or two from my neck and chest for a few weeks though I’d say, as well as from the cheap plastic Hessian of my favourite fishing bag.
Old Margs garden had a weird look to it. I’d seen it a thousand times over the fence over many years as I had chatted to her stood on a bucket or even a step ladder. But now it had a weird appearance of familiarity but alien. I suppose when you see something you think you know from another point of view its groundbreakingly shocking. But really, I knew I was just standing within its limits no longer peeking over the side.
Her garden was amazing, and even with the six inch long grass, the bushes and flowers in high bloom looked like a Microsoft wallpaper. Nature seemed to be taking back the control that we’d had over it in this single plot of land that barely measured ten metres by twenty. Old Marg had a box of bees at the foot of her garden coming and going as if the world was, well, I suppose their world wasn’t affected by the incident.
It’s enlightening to know that bees are so adaptable. I haven’t been. Six gnomes in Old Margs garden I’ve already spotted and they all look in many directions. Why? I see no purpose to it, she might as well have dropped them there by accident. What’s the point in that?
I always liked Old Marg but now I’m concerned about what I might find in her house.
Her back door is locked, her windows are too. I almost ask myself why out of need.
The joys of elderly neighbours. They forget the unexpected. And get up at 6am which is unbelievable to me. What are they doing? Its 6am. I didn’t even know the clock had two 6’s in it until I was thirty. Jeez, she shoulda known the end was coming, after all she’d seen it all, many times before, as she often told me over the fence as I feigned interest at such ridiculous ideas. She’d seen England win the world cup, man land on the moon, cloning – which she disagreed with – I forget her reasons why, she’d seen 9-11, she’d seen everything, and in her opinion of course, foreseen it all too. For her rose tinted spectacles were a license to print righteousness.
But we’ll all be there one day, I used to think.
Only now I know that we won’t.
If I can’t open this old womans back door, and get some water, I’ll have to venture out, into the world, the front door beckons.
The gnomes! That’s it. Time to cure my annoyance with some good old fashioned therapy. I rush to the garden and gather them all up and throw them, one after another, through her kitchen window. The window went through after the second one but I continued to throw them anyway. Now they can lie amongst the glass and the remnants of each other looking where ever they want to.
I wish I’d brought some rags to lay over the broken glass of the windows.
But I hadn’t, and I climbed through anyway.
I cut my hands more than my knees which surprised me, given my dexterity.
And in the kitchen I found a mess.
Old Marg better have a dustpan.