I was running away from everything that summer, then I ran
into a man who'd had the hiccups over five years. Apparently
it starts in your throat and it keeps growing until your whole identity
is consumed by constant interruptions. But you learn to adapt.
He said and I won't quote him because it's painful but in life
you begin to see around your obstacles, the way your vision
remains constant despite all the blinking, and creates a long smooth
passage you can use to escape unwanted intercourse. I think I understand,
I said. I was just being polite, but I'm reminded of this now
because I'm pinned behind an immovable mower, and I sympathize
with its broken gears. Aren't we all somehow stuck in chronic
approximation? Aristotle posited an end-point to causal relationships,
and based on this fact alone I can almost forgive his ignorance about
women. The day is perfect just now, and the smell of cut grass is
making me happy against my will. The particulars of femininity
escaped him, but Plato's favorite student obviously understood
the basic facts or else he wouldn't have been so jealous. I turn off
the lawnmower music, and begin to replace its high pitched whine
in whistle. My girlfriend thinks I'm the best whistler in the world.
Little things like this mean so much to me. Honestly though, I am.
I can usually mimic something after only one listen. It's a great party
trick, but it's also something I've always had mixed feelings about.
After something happens once, what reason could there be to repeat it?
It's cheating. My girlfriend pokes her head out of the house and asks
if I'm finished yet. This damn grass never gives me any rest, I say,
but we both know it just gives me something to do. I pull the mower's
cord again to see if anything has changed.
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