I took my two Klonopin as I sat in my Honda relishing the last of the cold air I would feel for quite a few hours. I just let them dissolve in my mouth. They kind of have a minty taste to them. I was sitting in front of the house for which I would soon get to work in the yard. This man’s yard was a complete disaster compared to the other yards on the street. I had a big job ahead of me this afternoon and tomorrow. I got out my band saw and all my clippers and trimmers, put on my leather “cowhand” gloves, and got to work. The man stood in the yard watching me as he drank a Pabst Blue Ribbon talking a mile a minute. He was in what I thought his late sixties with thinning grey hair and a wife beater on. He had a hairy chest that would make Tom Selleck envious. He reminded me of my great uncle Bob in many ways and looked a lot like him. He also had one of the heavier Southern drawls I had heard in years just like uncle Bob.
“It’s going to be a big job,” he said drinking his beer and watching me as I worked. “I appreciate you doing it. You’re going to earn your money. I need to get my yard in shape. I’ve had complaints from the city lately about it. Neighbor’s have been calling them.”
I took things slow and methodical so as to not overdo it. I certainly didn’t want an anxiety attack today – my biggest fear in the world. Bigger than my fear of death or dad. I felt much better this afternoon mentally than I did at work this morning after taking my medications. I would trim back a bit of undergrowth, sawing down a few small sapling trees in the process, and then I would carry the debris far out to the road for the city to pick up in a day or two. A little bit at a time was how I did it. It took about four methodical plodding hours of doing this work to get about half way done. It was kind of meditative in a way. I was lost in my thoughts the whole time – kinda loopy from my exhaustion and the heat. I kept thinking of that muffler for my lawn mower and how pleasant it is going to be to mow lawns with a quiet mower. I also kept thinking of that iPod Touch of which I am obsessed with. I am slowly saving up for it – twenty here, twenty there.
“I’ll be back tomorrow to finish,” I finally told the man who was now sitting on his patio in the backyard under a shade tree on about his eighth beer I surmised from the way he was slurring his words. A local radio station was playing from the radio sitting on a picnic table nearby.
“I’ll pay you tomorrow,” he told me. “You did a good job and worked really hard. I felt bad sitting on my ass, drinking beer, and doing nothing. Sit down and have a beer with me. I’d enjoy the company.”
“I better head home,” I told him ready to get the hell out of there. I wanted to go home BAD! I was tired of doing any work whatsoever.
“I want a shower and something to eat.” I then told him “I work a morning job at Wal-Mart as well. I’ve worked all day and I am about exhausted.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow then,” he replied as I heard him crack open another beer after fishing it out of the ice cooler sitting next to his lawn chair.
Well, I did it! And no extreme anxiety attack! The anxiety was there, but it was bearable. Just one more day and I will have made $75 dollars for eight hours of work. That’s not bad is it? I could get used to this yard care stuff if it wasn’t for my anxiety bothering me when I do it. It can be kind of a salve for the soul and so cathartic. I now know why my father likes it so much and spends so much time working in his yard.
What did I do when I got home? I cleaned house. My home is sparkling clean at the moment and so tidy. I didn’t want to give dad any reason to think I had been lax while he was gone – slacking off and drinking. I wanted everything to be perfect for his arrival. I also took a shower and put on my best clothes. He will be here at ten for our medication ritual and I am already so nervous I can’t stand it! I have a proposition for him about my medications and taking them in the mornings before work to help me through the day. I am going to have to be more assertive with my mental healthcare and it starts tonight.