I wasn't even awake yet and Linda was pushing me out the door. It was going to rain soon and she had a "shedjool" to adhere to, part of which included applying my back to heavy stuffs.
So I was a bit cranky from the get go. My ibuprophin hadn't yet kicked in and I was limping like Quasimodo. I hadn't showered, a morning ritual, nor brushed my teeth or even used deodorant, adding a certain close range danger to my moodiness.
Planting shrubs was the gig, replacing dead and growth retarded plants. Bare knees on firm clay added a smidge of attitude to my day as I whined and moaned my petty way through the first few containers.
The front was approaching, the air getting stuffier, my breathing harder and the sweat began to pour from me. On a normal day I might ignore all this and just plod along until I'd completed the task, but today was special; I was pushed into this chore and so I had a target for my annoyance.
We moved on to the big job; 20 roses that needed to be yanked and replaced. Grunting, groaning, heaving and hoeing we made our way through the hedge as muttering began to leave my loose lips; little vulgarities I'd collected for an occasion such as this. (Just spitting in the wind, not attacking my wife of course)
It was much easier as a two man job than a solo gig, and when Lin left to turn on the water but vanished and never came back, I started to get really nasty. It wasn't that I couldn't do it alone! "You bet I can" I said aloud through clenched teeth as I ripped each innocent, spiny wood-urchin from its grip of its mother, the Earth.
The shrubs were done and just needed water that was a football field away. I waited a few moments and got bored quick so I looked for another thing that might be easy enough to do.
There happened to be a dead tree right there within my periphery; a rare, expensive, old, prize tree I'd planted 5 years ago that hadn't made it through the last ugly winter. It had to go, so I started digging around it to pass a little time.
Then it started.
I got too close and cut my arm on a stiff branch, creating a two inch paper cut that bled like I'd struck a jugular. I pushed the branch out of the way and it snapped, throwing me off balance and to my already aching knees. I crawled to the trunk and shoved, snarling like a rabid coyote in pursuit of a pudgy bunny as I tried to muscle the tree out of the ground. Of course it didn't move, and that only made me angrier.
I dug deeper and shoved harder, my sticky arm throbbing as I yanked and yelled and told the dead stump just what I thought of it's uncooperative nature. Finally running my shovel into the wire cage that surrounded the root ball, I began to whack the roots to shake loose some soil and hopefully cut through a few strings. By now I was grunt/shouting on each stroke, like an indentured emigrant laborer hammering spikes into railroad ties at the point of a long rifle barrel.
I saw Linda approaching at last, but by this point I was focused...more obsessed really. I was going to trash this fucker and it was gonna be all me!!
She knows when I'm out of sorts and she graciously kept her distance, smugly hiding a smile as I shouted and growled my way to the bottom of the pit I'd dug, shaking the little tree as if I were trying to choke the death out of it.
I decided the moment had come, as prematurely as I always do. I was going to yank the pig from its berth or my name isn't you know who. Barking like a cranky bloodhound I snapped off each branch as they got in my way and then stepped into the hole, spreading my feet like an Olympic weightlifter.
Bending at the waist I did that-hunker shoulders together, flex the forearms, ripple the back, twist of the head baring every vein in my neck, slowly clamp my meaty fists around the wire basket one finger at a time-man thang. Then, with a roar that sent nearby frightened birds into the sky, I mustered every molecule of rage that the morning had delivered and lifted the far too heavy tree from its resting place. As if on cue, I stepped from the hole with my prize and cocked my head back and to the left and shouted something "rowrrr-like" yet again, something I'm sure I'd seen Godzilla do at one time or another after having trashed Tokyo for the hundredth time. Lastly, I lifted the clod of clay to chest height, and threw it to the ground with one last guttural expletive, smashing the ball into a million chunks and lightening the whole exponentially.
Then, the rains came and drove us indoors where I stomped off to the showers to wash my stinky mood away. Conciliatory, since her objective had been met, Linda suggested a movie and I concurred. It would be lazy and air conditioned and buttered, one of my favorite threesomes.
We opted for the Hulk and all was good until the first time Bruce Banner began to expand, his rage forcing him to change into a hulking, mindless monster.
"I see the resemblance" Linda whispered as she leaned into my chair. "Why didn't you tell them you turn purple and not green?"
A woman in front of us overheard my wife's jibe, lightly snorted in a feminine sorta way, and turned to us still giggling. "Men are all alike aren't they?" she said as her date elbowed her attentions back to the screen.
Women....Bah! It’s enough to make a man turn purple!