Tranformations in Northern California
Investments secure us, can transform us from Democrats to
Republicans, make us worry as new owners about faded paint,
dying landscape, pipes weakened by decades of renters and
gallons of Liquid Plumr. Everything’s relative, including my
mother-in-law who holds the wedding pictures hostage and
communicates constantly she’s ready to become grandma.
What are you doing the next 15 minutes? Eating? Sleeping?
Meeting me at the corner? Sometimes I convince myself to take
Japanese or German at the local community college. Then
I’d have the edge selling American products, like land, trees,
fishponds, the homes I grew up in. Funny how nostalgia soaks value,
converts apparent ordinary to extra special. Do you ever drive by
your old home and find new people parked, ignoring your lawn?
The Santa Ana conditions the grass dirty blonde by summer.
I face my lawnchair west, apply lotion #10, prepare to tan beneath
the sunblocked sun. Over fence, renters raise marijuana instead of
kids. Backyard bonanza, without diapers. How much per bud?
They’re usually introverted, make little noises like pulling hoses,
turning compost, watering their 8-footers. It all smells so organic.
I’m wondering if my wife’s mother knows her only daughter’s ring
isn’t a diamond. I’m a fraud. My wife says love can’t be spelled in
diamonds. True, I’ve never seen a ring that big. Funny how our
pink roses resemble backyard rags—toilet paper caught on branches.