Monday, February 13, 2006

Tall Fences: Spring 2004

He was locked firmly into his work, tearing up the ground with his silver spade, splashing through the flying soil like a blade. It wasn’t long before it was all done. Sid’s monstrous garden had been dismantled and now it was ready to be transformed into something renewed. All the soil had been turned over several times and fresh manure had been applied to grow the plants, now it was for the ground to open up with contemporary growth that was promised by the season’s twist. The frost had made the ground impregnable but spring had come along to loosen the concrete soil and fulfil its role as the universal midwife.

But the stroll every day to the garden’s boundaries made Sid grow more thoughtful and forced him to procrastinate on his former glories, certainly not on this virtuous outing he made day in day out to wander around his crops. As the day fared on with its rain and debutant sunshine, he began to consider his age and his own promised destiny. What had he become now? His mountainous body parts had turned into disarray; his gums had glued themselves tightly shut for more than a year and his legs now only allowed him to amble politely around his little pen containing all his family shrubs, yet it was never going to be more than that on this patch.

Sid found that he could not promote his notional garden; he found it hard proving the potentiality his garden might be capable. This small patch represented the dying functionality linked to the ploughed enclosure, not the modern outlay created to be more aesthetic. His golden potatoes, his bobbing bulbs and his quality turnips would be gone very soon, brushed away with his impatience to continue another crop yielding next years precious victuals. Nobody cared or bore witness to his interests and least of all did he care about the minor tantrums that appeared in the news, in the newspaper and most probably in the garden where Lilly Siedler lived, right next door to his chosen bunker retreat.

She was a native within this long Island, although quite adequately equipped with worldly travel to hotter climates. Lilly found it vital that she learnt to stay in one place for the current time franchise, especially as something shockingly brighter was now about to present it’s calling card upon her presence.

It was curious to note the contrast between the hopelessness writhing amongst the immature botanical surplus that Sid had lately encouraged into a living state and the coming mystery that was fated to once more provoke Lilly’s revision as to her lifetime strategies; both extremes, the old man and the young lady, lie side by side in the smouldering semi detached jungle that were forever odorised by musty autumnal bonfires, heralding the darkness before the first school run at every weeks beginning.

Despite the regular sequences that dictated events, Lilly thought about her multi-linked department, bought for her by semi-acquainted sponsors whose creed lay in badgering her for her company on demand. It was not that she would not give it freely; it was more that she was a fashion item, not a woman, which earned her distain every time these people called in their little monetary favour. They ignorantly imagined her flirtations and each dubiously thought her for themselves. In actual fact she had no preference over which was more benevolent or consequently which was less bankrupt, though we do know they all tended to spill the alcohol most nights right until the bluey morning dawn came swinging on its hinges.

One particular day, outside the house, the shadows lengthened casually in sink with the sun’s developed journeying over the horizon, and it loaded Sid’s garden with silhouettes, twisting out on the lawn’s surface like circuit wires. He had been fixing a useful trestle, it had been a dreadful battle, but was now infecting the amounts of poisonous Ivy that had openly annexed his kitchen conservatory thus affecting his malice.

On the other side, Lilly was thinking deeply about how she first recieved her name: Was it given to her deliberately to make her so old fashioned or did it suit her nicely? She definitely felt it was a great deal better than Lillian or even the devilish Lilith, but she decided it was just Lilly without all the dressing up. Now she was extremely cross with herself for having to sort all that out mentally and she mostly never wanted to venture in her head far from what was immediately transparently relevant to her, though something had hi-jacked her today, rebuking her usual habitual alignment. If she sat here for much longer she could prejudice herself towards a strong action or to make a decision that would rebound back on her immediately. She needed to escape these quandaries quick smart or take root to the spot and become a garden spirit instead. That wouldn’t do and furthermore, it wouldn’t be so amusing if anyone she knew would espy her here alone, just idling the time cast away in deep contemplation.

She arose and felt slightly pleasant in her laziness; perhaps she thought she would just lie there for the rest of the afternoon, nothing else would matter. She now resolved from that moment on not to think about anything too weighty or to think about any later developments that she might be engaged upon that day. This was her inheritance for getting up happily each morning, a welcome afternoon snooze, barracked in within her own back yard. It would not be long before her sponsors would be around to collect her for a little evening activity around the pubs and clubs that hung from the town in tassels. Meanwhile, she would carry on rewarding herself for living such a worry free life style without the sex or harangue many colleagues would suffer by being paid off. Her sponsors were extremely kind and hardly ever laid a finger on her.

“Bing – bong”, the doorbell was a distant echo around the lounge area, typical but a clearly an unmusical chime that all the doors along the street would open and slam shut to in unison, but with one exception: The house opposite actually imitated Big Ben in an aggressively auditory manner. Their difference was put down to the red light that shone out from their porch whenever the evening, with darkened coppery gown, walked in upon the fractured suburban landscape. Unfortunately, these people were ordered to vacate within two months and Lilly looked forward to more comforting street companions, who would fit in more within the street’s outlay.

She stretched and entwined her hands around her bobble head but she would not leave it until the sound’s reprise. The glass door steamed up in the air and it was opened to a tall gentleman who barged his way through quite aggressively. His hands brushed quite cynically through what had not been tied up in her hair and he sued her for an empty declaration of love, straining the air full with duplicity. There was a silent understanding as their eyes met and their lips locked but it was not for long. Her mouth elongated with zeal from the kiss into a loaded smile. She did not want to cope with a longer and sprightlier embrace, especially if her partner decided to take liberties that would leave her shabbily dressed instead.

“Go away to that chair and a wait”, she would say under her breath.

It was not long until he was straining again to lever her away from a self-reliant standing position so that she would actually fall on him. But it was not a thing the lady wanted to do and she just looked at him dreamily before loosing herself within the knick-knacks that had been stuffed into the fridge from a previous shopping spree around buildings that looked more like bomb shelters than places to buy things.

Everything in her room grew with foliage that extended about, as if it was distracted away from the earth in order to populate the air. Some flowering bells were strikingly bulbous; others withered and shorn, inflicting their presence quietly but intimately on the watcher’s eyes that might be peeking from several angles, but never too closely, for that is what flowers are all about – they are decoration derived from creation.

She found no wine, so instead they hacked into the spirits instead. After several hits they fell into each other’s again in order to summarise what they had done before now, and still other moments far back into the past. It didn’t stop, as life itself was hopeless in stopping its own revolving outcomes.

“Oh fire maker, why do you crackle so”, he said.

“Because I have not yet been put out”, she replied to this onerous remark from her heaving lover.

Her smile was now an actuality and not just an imagination by the man, as he covered her over with himself so that she would not be distracted anymore. The crocus on the mantle looked on despotically, not wishing to lift its gaze anywhere about the room. The colours pigmenting this pretended sentinel blended well into the patterns printed copiously onto the carpet and around the lounge walls.

“How long have we been asleep”, she arose to peer dimly at the clock that was not on the wall but carelessly bounding around her room out of reach from her arms length. They had now both got up and he was now quickly tying his shoelaces delicately in an effort to disguise his emotions, if they would so dare to reveal themselves from the escapades consequence. He managed that well and then quickly got as far away from the woman as possible, marching through the front door like a foot soldier, playing to his real self, not the shadow that had released its energy around her lounge area, hoping for love but never quite getting it in full measure.

Lilly’s auburn hair carried off the sunshine that came arching through the window in a watery line past the bowing narcissus flower poised to forge the depths. Besides looking at the cooker and being hypnotised by the dials for a few seconds, she flicked on the television set and began to watch whatever it was the dialectic broadcasters were prepared to broadcast at the time of day for public indifference. It allowed her to deviate away from what she was really thinking and in comfort she found the pictures tranquillizing, never perplexing. It was here that she found her assuring reality.

She deeply smiled to herself as she saw Sid eagerly reprise his weeding in his front garden patch. Of course he would never swing his face her way, just in case she was able to read what emotions had been written all over it for most of that time that day.

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