Feb 17, 2013

Vertical Lawn

I saw a man nearly chop himself in half while driving down Riverside Blvd.  With four lanes of traffic whizzing by, I think I was the only one in the world to notice the whole ordeal.  The homes on Riverside face the inner street exposing back yards to all of us who are trying to drive forty-five through town getting some place way more important than any place you are going.  I was hurrying from the store straight to the bus stop to meet the kid after her first day of school.  I saw him trying to push that lawn mower up the steep embankment.  His crippled left limb hung off to one side and his leg limp just seemed extra cruel in the afternoon heat, but that lawn mower piling it's weight down on him, at that angle, was absolutely scary.  I slowed the car, full knowing I couldn't get out fast enough, and wondering what sort of reaction a young man would have to an old lady pulling her car over, in the middle of four lanes of traffic, to ask if he needed help mowing.  I watched his scrunched up face turn red with effort just before his only good arm gave out and the large cutting machine rolled backwards, grass clippings flying every direction.  I held my breath and watched him jump out of the way while the machine hit the bottom of the ditch and sputtered out into a pile of sharp smoke.  He shook his head and leaned over to catch his breath and I drove on to the bus stop and thanked the Universe.    


Monnik said...

Wow - that had me holding my breath too.

Great piece.

Melanie said...

Yikes. I know - well, knew - a guy who was killed by his lawn mower. They had to identify him by his wedding ring. I'm glad your guy did not meet the same fate.