Sunday, July 7, 2013

What it Means to Mow by G. Arthur Brown

The eyes of Balkan Sam, carrier lunatic, were duple. What this means for future generations is still uncertain, but binocular vision was a particular skill of his. A few people admired and wrote about that. But I’m not one of them. I just mowed his lawn.

I mowed his lawn enough times to really get good at it, and he paid me in lengths of velvet ripped from the robes of long dead chamberlains. Balkan Sam, he’s the left side of heaven, my dad used to inscribe on vans.

I think it was already August. I was mowing and not just for vanity’s sake, but to protect the innocent from the armadas of dangerous tick terror cells that were rumored to be spider-holed betwixt blades of too-long grass hidden in respectable lawns owned by crazy men like Balkan Sam.  Being a hot summer, he brought me a glass of poison lemonade. I didn’t drink it, of course, because I’m not a fucking moron. But I thanked him and I continued my mow.

Mowing is a manly art. Man against Nature in the most primal form you can find in contemporary society. It is man with a large mechanical tool telling nature how to behave, what to look like. The mower I use is a riding mower, but it’s not a tractor. It’s the kind that drives like a tank, the kind that can do a 360-degree rotation. I’m at war with these weeds. And Balkan Sam can see that, so he brings me a lemon-grenade, but I’m not a fucking moron and I know it’s poisonous, so I don’t pull the pin and throw it to blow up the tiny arachnid enemy, who may or may not be couched tentatively under a leaf of clover, waiting to suckle the capillaries of some unsuspecting dachshund who certainly doesn’t belong on Balkan Sam’s lawn, but who tends to end up there when his owner has had far too much mead at the Renaissance Faire. 

It’s like hunting. There is a part of the male mind that needs to sit in silence and fight nature, destroying something living, or at least cutting large bits of a living thing away and leaving them to shrivel and die in the sun. Plants have a whole different kind of existence than do animals. It’s hard to say when they are alive and when they are dead, when they are the parent and when they are the offspring. Balkan Sam comes out and cuts off one of my fingers. He wants to create a rhizome that will grow new hunter-mowers, and you can sell that kind of shit on eBay now.  I’m not a fucking moron, so I don’t care that he cut my finger off because that was my poison finger and I’m not a fucking moron. I’m an adventurer, riding into the thick of a very tiny jungle, as far as five gallons can take me.

Balkan Sam rushes back out, those two googly eyes just googling at me, and tries to fill the tank with poison gas. “Save it for the Texas chambers!” I shout over the sound of some of the best mowing the East Coast is likely to see this summer. It’s already August, I think. I should be done by Christmas. 

Copyright 2013 G. Arthur Brown
Artwork Max Ernst