You know how it is; you’re back in the office after a long weekend and the hallway banter is a passing, “How was your weekend?”
The question means different things, I think, from different people. From my boss, it means, “Are you any less stressed than you were last week?” From my colleagues it means, “Did you do anything noteworthy?”
To both, I responded an emphatic and contented, “Not really.”
The highlight of the weekend, without fail, was the greening of my deck.
True, I was overly uncomfortable standing behind Abbi at the 77th Street farmer’s market — too crowded, too close, and too hot. And quite frankly, I’m completely out of my element picking plants. Yeah, I did some planting on my roof last spring. But Abbi kicked it up to a whole new level.
Left to my own devices, I would pick simple stuff like spider plants, ivy, and marigolds. But Abbi had done her homework, consulting both the Internet and her mother. She knew which plants did well in direct sunlight (which my roof deck receives in spades), and which plants did well with neglectful bachelors. And while I was antsy and indecisive, she was poised and confident, coolly puzzling out the best color (red, pink and white; my vote for purple and yellow was vetoed) and flower (pansea, genanium) combinations.
The project turned old quickly as we withered in the blazing afternoon sun. Worse, my OCD became virtually crippling as Abbi proposed moving various pieces of patio furniture (most notably, a bistro table I have against the northern wall of my bedroom; though her proposed relocation to the center of the deck afforded better views for those at the table, I couldn’t stomach it in the center of the deck).
But then evening fell. Abbi drank her wine and read Vanity Fair. I drank beer and read GQ (it was a free copy!). My iTunes playlist, titled, simply, “Uh Huh,” scrolled through Neil Young, Travis, Simon & Garfunkle, and other Triple A favorites. The sun fell behind the hills of New Jersey, and the strand of Christmas lights began to replicate stars otherwise obscured by the haze of the city. And there in the half light, in my little back yard in the sky, I was emphatic in my contentment. Which is a pretty good way to end the day.