Thursday, June 16, 2005

I am a Gardener for the Mafia

I have been working with a friend of mine, Teresa, doing some lawn work and landscaping. If you recall in my "Resume" post, one of the things I would like to do with my life is garden for old people. This part time job is getting awfully close to fulfilling that lifelong dream!

This one house in particular has been a source of much joy for me. The work itself is pretty awful; weeds 4 feet high - everywhere- and a hill in the backyard that I almost needed to rent climbing gear to weed. I just have a hard time complaining about weeding. Where I grew up we had heavy clay laden soil and no rain. Hardly ever. This hardened the soil into what appeared to be cement with a layer of coarse sand on top. Weeds grew in this - especially thistles.

My Mom grew trees to sell. (Evil Knievel has our trees at his house - just a little trivia) This was not in any way a full time job or something that was taken very seriously, but the trees were there and needed to be weeded. This particular location was very hard soil and full of thistles. I hated it. She would always tell us, "Pull them out by the ROOTS! THE ROOTS DAMMIT!". This was impossible. Weeds do not pull out of cement. Here, on the other hand, the soil is black and soft and you can just sink your hand down into it without even trying. Weeds pull out with a soft pop and a sigh. It's a thing of beauty.

ANYWAY, this man who's yard I was weeding works graveyard shift and obviously lives alone. I believe he is from Russia from his accent. I am, however, far from an expert in the area of accents and he could be Peruvian for all I know. But we will stick to Russian for the sake of the story.....

At 2 pm the first day he wandered outside, looking bleary-eyed and smoking a cigarette. He looked at me and gruffly said, "I wake up". When he said this I assumed that he meant that I woke him up so I began apologizing profusely for any noise I might have made. He eventually smiled and waved me off, telling me "No, not you. I must go to store to shop for food for the week". OOOhhh, grocery shopping. Makes me grumpy too.

I started having little daydreams - not sexual, you freaks- about this man. What would happen if his rivals came to knock him off while I was kneeling in the thick stand of weeds? Would I hide? Would I run? I think these concerns started with his eyebrows. He had eyebrows that were incredibly shaggy! They were so shaggy that he, at some point had brushed them all straight up toward his hairline and cut them straight across. This obviously tells one much about a person. To me it screamed, Russian mafia. (I don't think the accent helped this assumption.)

When he returned I asked him what he wanted me to do with all of the sickly rose bushes. Some were mere sticks protruding from the ground, but people can be weird about roses so I was pulling no sticks until I had permission. Who knows what could happen if I pull up the rose bush of a Russian mafia boss. Severed horse head in my bed, I'm sure. Either that or an all out borscht attack. This is what he said. I repeated it over and over so I would not forget it....

"If they live, then I let them live. If they do not live, they go away."

Mafia. Totally.


At 8:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL I can totally see what you mean! Eeeep! Hmmmm . . . do you have mafia insurance? It might be a good idea incase you are in the wrong place and the wrong time . . ;)



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