Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Only the Hemlocks

Raindrops splash on a dashboard Jesus.
The coroner’s van sits black as a crow.
Streetlight halos hang empty of angels.
While hemlocks watch over the chaos below.

Over water and blood and gas and oil,
Over hush of death, and hand of fate,
Over waning cries, and tears and toil,
As they flow into the culvert’s grate.

Into the blackness, toward the ocean,
Back to the place where life began,
And what remains is towed away,
Or placed into the waiting van.

And only the hemlocks stand in witness,
As flashing lights at dawn abate,
And as painted roadside crosses fade,
Only the hemlocks wait.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hanging the Ivy (A week in the life of a handy man)

I went to Home Depot today and told the sales guy I wanted to buy a stud finder finder. He said “You mean a stud finder?” I said “No, I already have one of those. I just don’t know where I left it.” Well to make a long story short, customer service is NOT a top priority at this place. Okay “Mr. Tool-man” that condescending attitude just cost you a customer. Geez, Sometimes I think those orange vests go straight to their heads!

I went to Lowe’s today and told the young sales lady I needed a stud finder, but I wasn’t about to buy one from those knuckleheads over at Home Depot. She smiled knowingly and said “If you’re looking for a stud, all you need is a mirror.” Oh yeah, the service is way better here at Lowe’s …way better! I followed her down the aisle, finished my shopping, and filled out a glowing comment card. Then half way home I realized …oh crap! Now I have to explain to my wife why I bought this dang mirror, and I have to find a place to hang it …but before can I hang it, I need to go buy a stud finder.

Okay, today I’m standing on the edge the bathtub holding my new top of the line electronic stud finder, with built in voltage detector (purchased yesterday at Ace Hardware.) I position the stud finder against the wall, just above a window where I’ve been planning all week to mount some decorative cast iron hanging plant brackets, so that soon my sickly green ivy plants will be flourishing over a steamy Jacuzzi tub as they swing in the late afternoon sun. I press the button and begin scanning the wall in great anticipation only to have the Studmaster 3000 blurt out “Whoa, dude, there’s nothing behind this sheetrock but a bunch of hot wires, and maybe a little wood here, and a chunk over there. I wouldn’t hang a picture of my mother-in-law on this wall! …let alone those heavy brackets.”

And so here my story ends …with a new stud finder, and some nice iron brackets (and a full length mirror, if you believed that part of the story) all being hauled out to the garage, to be added to that pile of stuff that I might need someday. I guess I’ll go to Home Depot tomorrow to buy some of those cheap ceiling hooks for my disappointed ivy plants.

”Come on, stop pouting ivy. Just another day or two on the floor, then you’ll be livin’ the high life …I promise.”
“Sounds like more fertilizer to me” mumbled one of the plants.
”Hmmmph!” said the other.