Tuesday, January 11, 2005

When I was not even two years old I decided I wanted the toy lawnmower I had seen at the toy store. It was red and shiny and beautiful and it even blew bubbles. Bubbles! If there is one nice word that you could use to describe me as a small child (and I doubt there are very many more) determined was it. I wanted that lawnmower. My parents, understanding this determination, decided to use it to their advantage. They set an ultimatum. "you want the lawnmower? No problem. just throw away your nookie." My nookie!!! What a sacrifice. That was my pacifier. It's importance was rivaled by little other than my Felix the cat stuffed animal and sheepskin blanket. How could they ask such a thing?

A few days passed and despite temper tantrums heard round the block, it was clear that there was only one way to get the lawnmower. The nookie had to go. So I took the long march. Down the back steps. Out the door. Past the tree swing. Through the back gate. And There I stood, staring at the dumpster. I probably didn't even stand half as tall as the dumpster but I could see that the lid was open. And there, as I cried and my mother watched, I took the nookie in my left hand, wound up and lofted it over the side and into the dumpster. There was a small clang as it hit the inside wall.

Was I Brave? Hell no. I cried, I screamed. I’d like to think that if there was a way for me to get in the dumpster I still wouldn’t have tried but I'll bet if it had a tiny ladder on the side I would have been neck deep in garbage. What's done was done. And two days later I came home to find my shoddily built, plastic Fisher-price lawnmower. That thing maybe coughed out 3 bubbles in its lifetime and spend it's retirement days covered in dirt on the side of that old bungalow house. And I learned that sometimes life sucks. Sometimes you take a chance and you end up getting jack shit. Sometimes you let go of something comfortable and you don't find anything better to take its place. And then one morning you wake up and you realize that maybe this mixed up, fucked up, shit-backwards world taught you something along the way. Maybe you don't need another kind of green to know that you're on the right side. But are you going to let that keep you at home?

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