Sunday, June 26, 2011

What happens when you don't go to church

So I’m home alone on a Sunday, and I’m cleaning and cooking and working and cleaning dog beds. Typical Sunday. I take these two foam things we let the dogs sleep on out into the yard to hose them down because for some reason my three year old dog has started peeing the bed, and sometimes just peeing on the carpet, and a junker car drives by and honks. I look up, as though I know anyone out here, and then go back to my hosing.
But the car turns around, and then pulls into my yard - we don’t have a driveway, you actually have to drive through the yard to park on the landing in front of the barn-like garage and carport. He drives toward me, and I stand up, and it occurs to me what I look like: I’m wearing a tank dress (I’ve started to refer to them as housedresses) because it’s the only thing I can stand to wear in the heat and humidity. I’m squinting through my glasses, my frizzy hair is piled on top of my head, and I’m wearing no bra, though I do have an apron with a wild horses print on it tied around my waist – it was an ironic gift from my best friend, but I actually wear it because I cook and bake and wash dishes by hand. Also, as though I have new readers who need this info: I’m ultra white and have tattoos.
The fellow driving his beater car across my lawn is a black guy (p.s. more than once in the last few weeks, I’ve been in restaurants with people who have stage-whispered “black” when referring to perceived cultural differences. I’ve also gotten a stage-whispered “white” when someone was telling me which Taco Bell was preferred, because the employees were all, you guessed it, “white”) about my age, smoking a swisher sweet and wearing a white wife-beater tank top.
I say hello when he leans out his window. I’m thinking about where my dogs are. Inside the house.
He tells me he’s looking for “Heavah,” she lives somewhere around here and she looks just like me.
I tell him I don’t know anyone named Heather out here. Then he points out my tomato plants, and tells me that he grows tomatoes, too, and eggplants and okra and beans, and his watermelons are doing well, too.
When he describes the wall he built to keep his tomatoes off the ground, I say, “yeah, we should have done something like that, too. Anyway, good luck finding her.”
Then he drove away.
When I told Roomie about it (we tell each other any time anyone comes here, as it happens so rarely) suggested that the guy was “fishing.”
I’m trying to picture how that would have gone successfully for him.
“Oh, Heather? I don’t know her. Would you like to come inside for a lemonade? Or some homemade salsa?”
Am I being innocent?