Stubbornness can either be a good thing or a bad thing. It's all in how you use it. I'd like to think I used my powers of pig-headedness for good today ... but time (and my kidneys) will tell.
Yesterday afternoon, right as I was getting ready to leave the office, I got a text message from my junkie neighbor telling me a limb had fallen out of my tree ... and asking did I want him to "take care of it."
I've written before about his loose relationship with anything resembling the truth ... so I wrote him back saying to wait ... that I'd take a look at the damage when I got home. In my head, I was picturing a large-ish branch. Something I'd quickly drag to the curb and forget all about.
I was wrong on this one. Very, very wrong.
It wasn't a branch ... it really had been a limb. It stretched almost across the width of my front yard ... and halfway across my driveway. Ugh ... it apparently hit quite a few other branches on the way down. So along with the main, whopping limb, there were dozens of smaller branches ... with sizes ranging from simple twigs ... to a few that were at least six feet long.
The junkie happened to be next door ... and he came out of the house blustering, "I told you it was big!" Well, no shit ... I can see that, considering I had to drive through the side-yard to park in my driveway. He said he was on his out ... but to text him if I needed him to take care of it.
As I looked at the mess from my bedroom window, I realized my options were limited. I don't own a chainsaw. Stoney doesn't own a chainsaw. Last time I need something like this done, my friend and her husband drove to town to help me ... but she passed away last fall and her husband spends most of his time traveling now. I was, to put it politely, screwed.
So ... feeling stuck ... I texted my neighbor a short while later and said yes. Yes, I would like him to take care of it and that I'd pay him as soon as I was home from work. What followed was a fever dream of conversation that made absolutely no sense.
Did I have a chainsaw?
He needed a chainsaw. Could I borrow one from someone?
No ... if I knew someone with a chainsaw, I'd pay them to cut it.
Could I get a chainsaw?
Um ... how? Do I fucking look like McGuyver? Am I supposed to build one out of spare VCR parts and an old Magic Bullet?!
Things took a turn for the bizarre when he said his uncle had a chainsaw ... but since he lived out of town it would be $50 to cut it up. I told him fine ... get a hold of his uncle, take care of it, and I'd pay them after work. He quickly wrote back ... he didn't know if it could be done by the time I got home from work. After all, his uncle lived 150 miles away.
Jesus Christ jumping on a trampoline ... are you fucking kidding me? I told him never mind. I'd fix the tree situation myself.
Meanwhile, our friend J texted me and said not to worry. He had a chainsaw and he would come take care of it. I breathed an enormous sigh of relief and said I would appreciate it. A little while later, he admitted that he hadn't started the chainsaw in nearly 10 years ... but ... hey ... if it didn't start? He had a handsaw. My hope started to waver.
This morning, I sent J an e-mail and asked ... no pressure ... but just so I could plan my weekend, when would he be able to come by and help with the tree limb? What followed was a detailed itinerary that could rival those of most cruise ships.
He couldn't come tonight because it was movie night with the guys. He couldn't come tomorrow because he was going to see a friend's child's basketball game in the morning, then he had a blind lunch date with a woman from Match.com, then he was meeting some people for dinner. Sunday he was going to church with a couple ... then two of his guy friends were coming to the house. So, his weekend was pretty full. But hey ... he told me ... don't worry ... he wouldn't let me down in my time of need.
Um ... hey ... you know when my time of need is? When I get off work at five o'clock and can't get in my driveway because there's a tree limb blocking it!
I drove home ... listening to a podcast ... preparing myself for a quiet night. Stoney had plans with his friends at work ... and so I'd planned on doing the laundry and a few odd tasks around the house. But as I pulled up to the house ... I got illogically pissed off.
I pulled through the side yard, parked the car, took off my coat, laid it on the porch swing, and went to work.
I pulled the smaller branches to the curb. Hauled armfuls of smaller twigs. I snapped as many of the medium branches as I could with my boot ... and pulled those to the curb. There were three or four large branches ... small limbs, actually ... and I added those to the pile. Finally ... all that was left was the behemoth blocking the drive. I grabbed a hold of one of the branches ... counted to three ... and pulled. It scootched. Just a hair ... but it scootched.
I grabbed the branch again ... counted to three ... and pulled. It took me doing this probably a dozen times ... but the big bastard is off my drive. It still needs cut ... but it isn't blocking the driveway ... and it isn't blocking the sidewalk. So at least at this point the city can't send someone to cut it up and charge me an arm and a leg for it.
I ache ... I feel like it was the passion of the ThirtyWhat ... and I pissed off Pontius Pilate something fierce. There's a better than fair chance I'll be pissing blood later ... and I'll probably be going to the birthday party tomorrow riding a rainbow wave brought to you by the makers of Viodin. But you know what? I fucking took care of it.
Fuck my junkie neighbor ... and fuck J. I felt a soaring sense of accomplishment ... but that's been replaced by a weary exhaustion. My stubbornness has paid off ... and I have a clear driveway. Tomorrow I'm meeting Stoney for breakfast at IHOP ... and I'm going to celebrate by having bacon and sausage and ham and maybe steak and some pancakes or maybe some waffles and every kind of fruit available.
Okay, I probably won't. I'm not fond of cantaloupe. Fuck cantaloupe. What kind of fruit is cantaloupe? Blech!
But I am ordering all the bacon. All the bacon ...
You know I'm gonna fill you full of grits
If it's lovin you're likin'
I'll kiss you and give you the shiverin' fits
'Cause I'm a woman
W - O - M - A - N
I'll say it again
W - O - M - A - N
I'll say it again