July 11, 2004
My good master: "Don't you wish to be told
Who these spirits are? I want you to know,
Before some of their stories unfold,
That they did not sin; neither did their virtue bestow
On them any advantage, for they did not receive
Baptism, the gateway to the faith you follow
The Inferno of Dante Alighieri
A Rhymed Translation by Seth Zimmerman
Thought I would keep up the hellish theme.
My first night has passed quietly enough and the only thing bothering me today is the need of food. I'm going to have to cleaned up, grab some breakfast somewhere, tend to the rose garden and run a few errands. I discovered that I need a few things, and its simpler to get them rather than run the 25 miles back to the kids' house.
I was up tending to Satan's other side job. He does the gardening for a twice-widowed elderly lady. She has a really nice house in a gated community and the plants need more attention than she can provide. She also rarely uses this house. She has another out on the eastern shore where she spends most of her time.
I've enjoyed the watering, tending, and pruning of the rosebushes. It's gotten me some fresh air and exercise. Plus as I have gotten older, I have found myself wanting to do a little gardening for myself, but haven't had the opportunity in my current living arrangements. The only thing I could have done without is the heat and they humidity. Beer barrels with feet are not built for this kind of weather.
It feels kind of creepy there. It's a beautiful, well-appointed house. However, I can't really call it a home. It seems almost antiseptic. There's no life in the place. It is thoroughly devoid of anything that gives a sense of the owner. It's all very clean, neat, and tidy -- but sterile.
Even the knick-knacks, pictures and books seem like ghosts of memories -- dry intangible fragments fading slowly from the world. A house that large should be full of vim & vigor. It should be the home of a large, loving, boisterous family -- filled with all the emotions both good and bad that come from life. Instead, it stands empty like a monument to some long forgotten hero.
When clipping the roses, I was struck by the oxymoron of it all. I nipping off spent flowers to make way for new growth. It seemed such a ridiculous thing to do in that place, where things are just in a holding pattern.
I must admit that I was also struck by the waste of the flowers themselves. They sit there unappreciated growing and blossoming, until their time to be snipped off comes. If I had someone to give them to, I would at the very least father them up and shower them with sweet smelling rose petals. If I were feeling particularly sly and cocky, I'd present a few new buds, carefully taken from where they wouldn't be noticed. It certainly seems a better idea than casting them off into the brush -- as I was shown to do.