carrying mulatto babies
Sunday, May 4 2003
This morning I went to visit Darren, the drywall Jedi who handled the sheetrock and spackle for most of the top floor of my house. In payment for some extra work he'd done, I'd told him I still owed him some time to help him get off the ground with his computer. He'd called recently and I'd tried to beg off, citing the demands of the upcoming wedding, but he'd successfully pled his case by saying he'd only need an hour of my time, just enough to learn how to upload pictures to an online dating website so he could "start meeting some ladies."
When I showed up, Darren was in no hurry to launch into the business at hand. Instead he showed me a photoalbum of pictures from his recent trip to visit his younger brother in Maui, Hawaii. This led me to show him the website of pictures from my South Africa trip. Meanwhile, Darren's house was aswarm with activity. Three different women showed up at different times, all of them carrying mulatto babies. Darren said that two of the women were only sixteen years old, and that the fathers of their babies would no longer have anything to do with them. Darren strives for gangstadom and isn't especially evolved, but he has a strong sense of right and wrong, and it was clear to me that he'd opened his home to these women and their kids out of sympathy for their unfortunate plight.
In the past I've been known to have friends (Josh Furr, for example) who weren't exactly cultivated in the particular sunlight that shone down on my youth. I have a feeling that Darren could be that kind of friend for me. He is backwards and ignorant about lots of things in this world, but he nonetheless has a reasonably agile, and more importantly, open mind. I don't have any friends of my own in this area, and I've been thinking that Darren might be my only hope for changing this situation in the near term. The main problem is Gretchen, who, after finding out about the way he treats his dogs, doesn't like Darren at all.
Mind you, when I say Darren is backwards, I mean he's positively 19th Century. While reasonably agnostic on matters of race, his protocols regarding gender relations seem jarring from my relatively cosmopolitan perspective. For example, he never bothers to introduce me to anyone except adult men; it seems that in his world, women and children are merely day-to-day objects.
My big household project today was to make the stone steps into the backyard look less like they were in the middle of a construction site. Given a choice, I always prefer to have things look like they've been a certain way for centuries instead of having been called into existence just last weekend (as is the case for these steps). I'm sure God felt the same way after He was done with creation week, although if he was anything like his followers, he contented himself by sticking a plastic pink flamingo outside the gates of Eden.
The main problem around my steps was the large swaths of barren soil. Some parts had been freshly exposed, while other parts were barren from all the foot traffic dating to the time when there were no steps. I decided to cover some of the rocks and barren soil with moss and other shallow-soil plants (ferns, partridge berries) that commonly grow in moss. The main reason for this was the plentiful nature of moss in the woods adjacent to the backyard. Also, moss is one of the most-easily harvested plants. You just peel it off the rocks with your bare hands. I didn't have much experience with transplanting moss and didn't know whether it would "take" in its new location. But it hardly mattered. It did exactly what was needed for the steps, turning them instantly into a relic of a more perfect time, a time when elves and little people roamed the planet with sacks of Lucky CharmsTM slung over their shoulders. I found that by spraying the moss with a little water, it immediately improved in appearance and lushness. If I'm generous with the water, I can certainly keep it alive at least until the wedding.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next