It was very hot that day, hottest day of the summer, and I was in as good a place as anyone to judge since I was in my jeans and a t-shirt mowing the lawn in the middle of the day, sweating like a racehorse. My lawn has no flat place so I am always either going up or going down. It is a hill-of-a-yard to mow, if you know what I mean.
When you walked up my driveway in your sunglasses and sundress I had the desire to quickly disappear into my house to powder my nose or change my shirt, but you were too close to for a graceful escape, and had I tried to run I would have only looked like a criminal guilty of something worse than just looking like a sweaty farmer.
Forgive me for my initial judgmental thoughts. I thought perhaps you were coming to tell me that my dog was in your yard or I was mowing during your party (you did look party-worthy with your breezy clothes and carrying that frosty cup). I cut the engine on the motor and wiped the sweat off my forehead and greeted you with as much refinement as I could muster. You said nothing, or at least, if you did, I don’t remember what it was, because you handed me the cup–the cold, cold cup–filled with water and little floating icebergs, and all thoughts vanished from my mind. I couldn’t have been more happy if you had given me a jar of Nutella and a spoon. You turned and sauntered away as if rescuing neighbors on the verge of heat stroke was normal for you. I walked in slow circles around my lawn mower, sipping the water that was as cold and clear as an Alaskan cruise, before putting down the cup and pulling the cord to finish the job. Though I returned the cup to you later, filled with grape tomatoes from my garden, I’m sure it did not give you the satisfaction that it gave me.
To the person who left this in my garage:
My husband was out of town, my children were at lessons, my van was dead. You picked up my kids, brought them home, and with this contraption you cleaned the van’s battery, jump-started it, followed me to Auto Zone, waited while I got a new battery, and didn’t leave until my car started on its own.
Why don’t you wear a cape?
I promise I will bring it back to you, and I’ve already made muffins for you (but they got eaten) and then I made cupcakes (they got eaten, too; I live with wolves). But you are a health-nut so you probably wouldn’t have appreciated them anyway, which is okay, since I’ve never been widely known for my baking. So I wanted to do something for you that I am known for.
Thank you, kind sir.
To the person who left this on my piano bench:
It was a rehearsal, and I was the pianist for 30+ children. I have never been a pianist for a public group before. I usually direct choirs, not accompany them. I was truly a fish out of water, but still enjoying myself since I am a fish that loves to try new things. I hit many wrong notes, but was doing surprisingly well when measured against my past. It was cold in the room, though, and playing piano when your fingers are cold is a lot like trying to speak Spanish when you’re eating ice cream. I rubbed my hands together. I sat on them. I put them under my arms. I thought to myself, next week I’ll bring gloves. Of course, I forgot.
At the following week’s rehearsal you dropped this in my lap. It was hot. It was a homemade rice bag, fresh out of the church microwave. It fit in my hand perfectly.
I love you.