September 25, 2004


The dads are out. They are mowing the yards, tending and doing trimming and grooming and seeding. The women are else where. The dads are out with the leave blower. No labourous raking, just high powered air vrooming and whisking the leaves to a wide circle around the property, dead leaves ringing it like an ancient ceremonial site. Blowing them so they are not on the walks lit by tiny lantern lights, so they are not on the lawn which with it's fresh mow now glows deep green and tidy, looking unnatural and storebought.

The lawns that are unmowed, the lawns where the summer planting is rotting, brown blooms languishing, sun-rotted amidst otherwise immaculate landscaping, lawns piled with leaves unmoved since their first fall - I wonder where are the dads? I imagine older dads, moored in the dark-wooded den, silent and swishing ice in tumblered hi-balls. I imagine them folling about in the garage, haplessly industrius, taking apart things they do not know how to put together. I imagine them defrosting tater-tots and fish-sticks because this is their weekend with the kids. I imagine them pawing their secretaries in 30 story hi-rises in Wayzata. In this neighboorhood, I can only imagine the staid man-lore of Cheever-ish men, unable to mow the lawn as they are quietly subsumed -- dwarfed by feelings of unnameable inadequacy, latent alcoholism and financial responsibility.

Posted by Jessica at September 25, 2004 05:25 PM | TrackBack