Let’s Go For A Little Drive

Posted: May 16, 2009 in The Roper Files
May 16th 2009 004
Another rainy Saturday here at Chateau 23 … but I’m not complaining. It’s my day off and not only that but I did a lot of my necessary errands yesterday. Not everything mind you but I got a lot done considering it too was a day off and presumably a day of rest. But once I get jacked-up on pot of good coffee I do some pretty strange things.
Haven’t updated the site in two weeks partially due to a case of writers block and other circumstances.
But like I said sometimes once I am full of coffee I find I don’t have the patience to sit still in front of my PC; I want to really DO something.

My lawn-mower died last year; my previous landlord was somewhat of a tinkerer and it was a pre-vacation ritual of mine to roll it over to his house and let him over-haul it while I was out of town. However the very last time I did this when I went to pick it up he told me it was the very last time he could re-build my ancient Briggs and Stratton; it was just too worn-out and he said I would do well if it lasted another year. It ran just fine for about another year and then left a stinky gray vapor trail behind me that hung over the lawn for several minutes afterwards. It quit on me last summer two and a half years after Matt said it would.

Now since I have an agreement with my current landlord to keep the place up this has created a dilemma. Last summer flagging down kids with a mower looking for extra money was easier than getting a cab in this town; I could toss a twenty at one of them and keep Code Enforcement from writing my landlord a little letter. This summer however the kids with the mowers must have gotten regular jobs; not a single one has knocked on my door this year. The lawn started getting thick and I wound up calling some guy out of the classifieds to do it. But he wanted thirty bucks a pop and this has been a rainy last couple of months. Every time it rains the yard grows back overnight.

I decided there was no other course of action; it was time to buy a new lawn-mower. But there was going to be more to it than just going and getting one. For one thing I had no place to put it; my storage shed was full. I had been storing aluminum cans and had several bags in a pile on top of my dead mower. These were going to have to go.

Aluminum cans were going for a record 80 cents a pound a year ago; now the price has plummeted down to 35 cents. I had been putting off going to the scrapyard in hopes the price would go back up but I had no choice; the cans had to go. I loaded five large heavy stinky plastic bags into the back of my truck and drove across town to northside Fort Worth.

The city council is proud of the Stockyards area and Billy Bobs “the worlds largest honky-tonk” but drive just a few blocks in any direction away from there and one can find several places that have been featured on the series COPS.

May 30th 2009

Gang graffiti covers every inch of everything that doesn’t move just to let you know whose turf you’re really on. There’s the donut shop that one cop busts two homeless guys for huffing paint in the adjacent alley. There’s the motel two other guys set on fire because the clerk wouldn’t get them a hooker.  Shit I should conduct “As Seen On COPS”  tours of Fort Worth….and there’s the scrapyard. scrapyard

After selling an entire truckload of cans for a paltry twenty five dollars, I burn rubber out of north side and over across town to Wal Mart where I pick up a brand new mower for $140. Now I have room to put the damn thing at least. When I get home I roll the old mower to the curb and put it up for grabs in the “free” section on Craigslist. Then I put an old shower curtain on the shed floor, put the box with the new mower on it and then cover it with another old shower curtain to protect it from rain. There; mission accomplished.May 16th 2009 010

Today I awake to the sound of rain outside. I leap out of bed thinking: “Oh shit; I’m late for …absolutely nothing! Flop back down into the bed laughing to myself at my little joke. Lay there for awhile and then get up and take a shower. The hot water running over my body feels good this morning. I stand there for a really long time and let the scalding hot water massage my aching back.
Shampoo my hair and then rub in some lavender conditioner. Then I dry off and get dressed.

Open the doors and look outside; everything is wet and the skies are dark. My two stray cats are outside yowling for food. I take care of them and then fix coffee. Put some jazz on the stereo and I got my mood on. Feeling this really strange un-familiar feeling of satisfaction; I’m glad I did every single thing I did yesterday before it started raining.

After I kill off that first pot of coffee I need that breakfast of champions, enchiladas. Ordinarily I would walk up to the store but since it’s raining I get in my truck and back out of the driveway.

May 16th 2009 005
Cruise the four blocks down the street. What the fuck; oil and gas are going to last forever, right? Besides ( and most importantly ) I didn’t have to get wet.
May 16th 2009 008
Once inside the store I make this trip count. Get four packages of chocolate donuts for my nine am break for the following Monday through Thursday, get a money order to pay a bill, pick up my Saturday lottery tickets and get a styro box full of enchiladas from the smiling Hispanic girl behind the counter. Twenty minutes and thirty dollars later I walk out with two plastic bags and several bases covered.
May 16th 2009 012
Now you go away; I’ve got enchiladas to eat…
May 16th 2009 015

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