wash for show

Made good on my promise and stayed home from work today. Too bad, though, that it did not excuse me from working. In fact, I busted my butt today at home working on material for the presentation I’m giving Thursday in Germany. It’s coming together, but it’s still in the “gathering content: ugly” phase, and I have all the “content defined: window-dress” work ahead of me. I’m not too worried, as I have tonight and the plane trip over, plus about 24hrs on the ground in Germany prior to the actual meeting. I also found time to mow the lawn, something I had to do prior to leaving unless I wanted to come home to the Serengeti. And, once again, lawn mowing becomes blog fodder – although this time for a slightly different reason.

As I pushed the lawn mower around the grass, cutting in vain a living growing organism which would just grow right back again, I couldn’t help but notice the activity across the street from me. My neighbor, whom I’d never really noticed before, was out washing her car. My neighbor, whom I’d never seen before, was wearing tight black pants, a pink shirt, and had her long blonde hair up tied up. My neighbor, whom I’d never seen before, was reaching and bending and stretching in all the ways that one would reach, bend, and stretch while washing a car. Now, I set the scene like that because I wanted to acknowledge the fact that, yes, I noticed. What red-blooded male wouldn’t. I mean, my neighbor (whom I’d never seen before) seemed to be in her thirties, and quite well-maintained physically. So yeah, I noticed. But, I didn’t ogle. Well, until… that is… until…

While I was first noticing my neighbor, I very distinctly saw my neighbor notice she was being noticed. In fact, several times, when I made a neighbor-facing pass across the turf, I caught her watching me to see if I was watching her. Now, who was really watching who is hard to say, but I got the feeling that I was not being watched because I was watching, I was being watched to see if I was watching. What I mean was, this wasn’t a woman casting nervous glances over her shoulder to see if the masher across the street was mentally undressing her, this was a woman who was stretching and bending and reaching and knowing she was watched. Again, I have no real proof, but check out this.

As I once again turned to cut a swath that cast my eyes in her direction, she offered a short wave and a smile – a gesture which I returned, all neighborly-like. Then, much to my surprise, she walked away from drying her car. She walked up into her front lawn, where the sprinklers were sprinkling. She stood there, in the sprinklers, and began to untie her hair. Once her hair was down she shook it out, first side-to-side and then up-and-down in some slow-motion head-banging action. As she tossed her hair around, she held her hands out to gather the spray she stood in. She took her hands and proceeded to wipe her face and hair. All the while, I was trying not to fix my gaze on this display.

I’ll admit, it was hard. Here was a scene right out of a movie, here was a my neighbor standing in her sprinklers tossing her hair around. What’s more, she waved to me again; in the middle of all the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue posing. That wave sealed it for me: she was putting on a show, for my benefit. I was even more convinced as she began to set about seemingly pointless yardwork which required her to do yoga-like feats of bending and squatting and stretching. Yes, my friends, this was a peacock’s plume, a lizard’s throat-thing, a cricket’s call… I was being courted from afar.

Now, this doesn’t just happen to me. I mean, I’m not exactly the picture of a hot young Latino gardener. I admit, my voluminous t-shirt could’ve adequately hidden my gut. Plus, we were at that special distance where you can’t quite make out the definition on someone’s face, and I had a blue bandanna tied around my head (hiding my growing baldness). Furthermore, I don’t think you could see the yellow armpit stains from that distance, especially as they were obscured by my mowing posture. So, perhaps, just perhaps – she mistook me for a strapping young buck out displaying his ability to work. Either that, or it’s one of two things: I gravely misinterpreted the situation or she’s seen me around and has had enough time to fall madly and secretly in love with me.

In the end, I chose not to mate with the female. I mean, the circuits in my male brain which were programmed when my ancestors still lived in caves and wore animal furs were all lit-up and green for “go.” But, the more refined gentleman in me decided to pass on this opportunity. Good to know I still got it, though.

Well, it’s 10:30pm and my workday is over. 7am to now, working pretty much solid but for a few short meetings, a lawn-mowing, about an hour-and-a-half of play-time with Keaton, and some quick meals. I figure it was well over a 12hr day, and I’m tired for it. Yet, still I have to pack, which I’ll likely put off until tomorrow morning… and still have plenty of work to keep me busy on the plane…

Until Germany then, gutenacht.

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