Eyre Affairs

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Location: New York, United States

Thursday, April 20, 2006

"the heavy yard gates..." ~ Jane Eyre

I inhale the air and it smells like a mixture of hyacinths and sugar. It makes me think of edible flowers and the violet candy that Tea used to share with me when we were in high school.

I spent most of this perfect spring day out in the sweetened air of my yard. The yard is one of the many wonderful aspects of this particular apartment. A long brick path leads you to this yard, which is surrounded by a white picket fence. The brick path expands itself into a brick patio, surrounded by uneven patches of grass and patches of dirt with grass seeds sitting on top in clusters.

Resting on the brick patio is a long, white table which has been the center of many barbecues. The table has seen many cuisines, from Cajun to Armenian, Italian to Greek. However, I think the table's favorite is All-American. Homemade potato salad, barbecued chicken, and macaroni salad frequent this table in the summer months, with pitchers of lemonade and iced tea. No apple pie, though. I am no baker.

One day I hope to have my own yard with a long picnic table. I have dreams of July 4th barbecues with tons of family and friends. The kind where all of the place settings have American flags on them and Americana adorns the house, where the BBQ is hot for hours, sparklers are given out to the kids, and I finish the meal with a red, white, and blue cake made of berries and vanilla frosting. The simple life in a peaceful place.

These are my coffee daydreams today.

This morning a solitary cup of coffee in an elongated HBO mug rests on the white table. It is one of my favorite mugs, given to me by a man I dated but had no interest in after I realized all I got were about three sentences in a conversation that lasted four hours. Next to the mug is Self magazine, opened to a page about how to cut extra sugar out of one's diet. I take my coffee with two Splendas and skim milk, so half of the battle is already won.

Sipping coffee, I glance at the corner of the yard. There is a wrought-iron base for a tent. There is beige fabric that makes up the remaining body of the tent. It almost looks out of place, like some exotic tent you would find in India. That makes sense, though, since one of my landlords is Hindu. There is an iron table that rests next to two iron chairs in the tent; the perfect setting for an afternoon tea. Especially chai.

A lonely garden decoration sits on the side of the yard. It is a blue hummingbird with wings that move in the wind. It isn't all blue; the paint has chipped off to reveal a greyish base. Perhaps the next time I go to Hicks Nursery, I shall get a few decorations to keep it company. I want a vegetable garden, but the sunlight isnt right for one in this yard.

The spot where I wish a vegetable garden grew is the charcoal Weber BBQ. It needs to be covered this morning. Its black sheen is reflecting the sun and the metal is getting to hot. I still need to get the charcoal out of it from the other evening when Chaz and I BBQed up chicken and then toasted chocolate marshmallows together. This morning I am too lazy to do so and decide to leave it.

A few stray dandelions have turned up just a few days after the gardeners manicured the lawn. Another corner of the yard has white pebbles spilling out into the grass past a low brick barrier. The pebbles support a water fountain, complete with an electric switch to make the water flow in a crescent shape into a pool where the stone is becoming stained with a dark green algae.

My company in the yard this morning is a beagle/foxhound mix named after Springsteen. Bruce is on the hunt all over the yard, and I feel his sense of excitement as he explores it. Eventually he lies down in the sun, and I tell him what a good boy he is as I look into his hazel eyes that are glowing with the sunlight so much that they look like they could be the eyes of a cat.

My olive skin begins to turn bronze immediately in the sun, and I move into the shade. I pick up Lincoln's Melancholy, a book I have finally gotten around to finish up this week, and place it in my lap. This book has captured me and has all of my interest. I read about Lincoln's sensitivity towards animals and tell Brucie that Lincoln was a good man to puppies.

Shenk's book talks about how he would go out into the fields and woods for hours by himself, writing poetry and sitting in solitude. The book looks to understand how Lincoln survived his bouts with melancholy and depression, and I myself can't understand how he led this nation when dealing with such a deep and profound depression.

Still, my guess is that if he smelled sugared winds, had a dog, drank coffee, and loved the yard he was sitting in, it would certainly help lift his spirits. At least for one day...at least for one day.


Blogger Charlie Mc said...

I am glad you had such a great day of rest! Glad your company behaved himself. I am sure Bruce had just as much fun and enjoyed it!

10:32 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

Again - great post. I'm in the process of making my backyard an oasis, just in time for summer. I've run into a couple of snags, though, but I don't think they'll affect my first summer BBQ!
By the way, here's the link to my John Denver post, and if you're interested in way more 70's Americana, there's a link within the post called back in the day which describes my growing up in that era.

Have a great night!


3:03 AM  
Blogger work in progress said...

Beautifully written! It becomes more and more obvious as I read your blogs that you have a way with the English language that evades many-even those who have been English majors.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Sounds like a great day off.

I'm jealous that you got to hang out with Brucie...

I'm sure he loved being able to lie in the sun. Sometimes I wonder if dogs are really lizards covered in fur... I think they would sun themselves on rocks all day if they could.

9:04 AM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

C ~ I miss him today! :)

Steph ~ Thanks for the link! I look forward to hearing about your new oasis.

WIP ~ I always joked that I was an English Majorette. ;) Thank you for those kind words.

Heath ~ You are SO right! Brucie certainly moved like a lizard yesterday. Smooch to Milt the pooch.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Clearlykels said...

There is nothing better than summer barbeques. They are my favorite. Loved the post!

11:03 AM  
Blogger beachgirl said...

That sounds marvelous! It is rainy and yucky (yes I'm pretty sure those are technical weather terms) here today..But the weekend is supposed to be BEAUTIFUL!!

Loved the post, enjoy your time off!

2:34 PM  
Blogger TheSugarV said...

Wait Charlie gets the frosty paw???

1:27 PM  

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