Monday, July 12, 2010

Answer #157 - When the dogs started howling outside the door

True life tales from the Occasional You're On Fire 4th of July Blow-Out

I'm Jerry's brother, he said, from just across the way.

He drove up in his lawn tractor onto the long gravel drive, pulling a two-wheeled trailer wagon behind him.
He was a diminutive version of David Crosby,with straggly long gray hair and a green, dime-store glass of what I assumed to be straight whiskey in his hand. He had a passenger - a woman of roughly the same age dressed in faded black t-shirt and shorts, sprawled in the wagon.

I don't know Jerry, I said, where does he live? In the background, the party guests chatted over the music and the boys in the yard threw firecrackers into the woods.

He lives just behind you - yonder.  We's just driving around to see what's going on in the neighborhood.

Cool, I said, though we don't live in a neighborhood and can only see one neighbor, who recently ruined my little Ponderosa by moving his modular onto a patch of ground directly across the road from me.  Said neighbor, incidentally, has a white dog named Kilo and nipple rings.  I've put two and two together.  Though, admittedly, he seems pretty nice and his yard his kept considerably neater than mine - even with the electric fence that keeps Kilo in and Trespassers out.

Well,  you're welcome to come in, I offered, as I smiled at his passenger, who was sporting a surgical mask.

I got allergies, she said, as she pulled the mask aside and then carefully replaced it, explaining the mask.

I smiled at her.  I think I smiled. It was the way she was sprawled - it was the sprawl of it. She had a pillow under her head and blinked up at me, prone in the trailer, but completely relaxed. In the lawn trailer.  She never sat up.  Not even when he turned the tractor around, heading back down the driveway, and sat on the seat, looking back at me.  She stayed sprawled, hands folded on her chest, blinking.   

At what point did she decide to lay down in the trailer and be driven to points unknown - to see what was happening somewhere else?

Come on, I said.  There's horseshoes, though I wasn't entirely sure if he'd pass out on the lawn or what the woman might say when and if she sat up.  He nodded and held a hand up - a half-wave, an acknowledgment. He felt out of place, I know, but he wasn't.  He really wasn't.  Others had arrived in cars, sure, but plenty of them could've had glasses of straight whiskey at the time.  Despite appearances, things are never what they seem.  And his story was one I wanted to hear.  But he drove off when I turned away, probably tooling down the road at 10 miles an hour, to find a different party with more interesting people.


  1. Riding in the back of a trailer with a pillow and a bottle of whiskey, being towed by someone else driving at 10 miles an hour sounds like a nice way to spend an afternoon. Sounds to me like this ought to be a trend of some sort. I gotta find me someone with a lawn trailer.......

  2. It could have happened here exactly as you told it.

    Joy! I knew this place liked the smell of it's own gas a little too much. Other places have just as bizarre gas emanating from their citizens. Joy!


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