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The Hedge

I was trimming my beard today, as I do every Sunday, and outside the birds were chirping, little blue ones. Little blue and pink ones, chirping, chirping like maybe someone was trying to steal their children. But that's foolish. They haven't even mated yet, so they must have been chatting each other up. Baby stealing chirps come in mid summer.

I was trimming my beard, trimming the unruly hairs, and those not conforming to the program of kempt. I was eyeing the hedge outside while doing so. I saw a couple birds land on the hedge and dance and smile a bit before flying off. The hedge didn't fly off, though. No, it was confined to the ground.

"Ha ha! Can't fly, eh, Hedgy. Well, that's o.k. neither can I. But at least I can walk. Try walking, Hedge." I waited for a few seconds, maybe it was minutes, eyeing the hedge, waiting for it to walk while still trim trimming my beard. Just when I had almost given up all hope some wind came and rustled the hedge.

"It's not walking, but it will have to do."

I eyed the hedge, and in it's scrub I saw a face. An old man's face who had lost all his teeth and who had to gum his food. Who had poor vision, and who's eyes looked like black beads without his glasses on. His nose was crooked, and if the face wasn't of the hedge, I would have been worried about my genitals.

"Hey old man! In a hedge, eh?" He spoke nary a word, but kept on eyeing me, or was it my genitals. Just to be sure, I used one hand to cover my junk. Old men love junk. Some wind came along again and as a result the old man kind of nodded at me either in satisfaction of seeing some junk, or as a confirmation of his presence.

He seemed to say "Yes, yes, I am here, eyeing your junk. It's sunny out. I have had a stroke."

I realized, after sticking out my tongue and making flicking motions and funny sounds, that my eyes were playing with my imagination. Because if I shifted my gaze slightly to the right and up a bit I saw another face, but this time it was looking off into the distance.

"Look off into the distance, will you," I said clenching my one good fist. And with my hedging clippers, clipped a bit of my face off by accident. Despite the thickness of my beard, blood poured through. I licked the shears, they tasted of rust and soot.

"Pompous fucking hedge," I grumbled. "POMPOUS FUCKING HEDGE!!!" I shouted. And danced my circle swear dance, kicking, bleeding, shouting and eating crackers. The climax of the dance came with my patented blood curdling scream. The scream caused my eyes to water, and although I didn't check the mirror, I think it popped some blood vessels in them too.

"I'll teach you, hedge. I'll teach you!" With those words, and with a turn on the heel, wearing my fuzzy bunny slippers, and my flower towel, I made my way outside.

The sky screamed paradise. Pink and blue birds swarmed and flitted and adjusted their skirts. My neighbour, Mrs. Watkins, was out in her gardening clothes. They were summery, and despite the distance between us, they revealed an ample bosom. And was that her I was smelling or the aroma of freshly blossomed flowers. I gave her a wave. In retrospect I probably shouldn't have waved with the clippers in my hands. Indeed, I shouldn't have waved at all, what with the blood pouring down my face, and what with I can only imagine being a crazed look in my eyes. She quickly got up, rushed inside, and moments later I saw the venetian blinds on one of her windows part. She has always distrusted that which is the giraffe I have sculpted upon my face. Despite that, and at an attempt to make amends I made sure to smile real big at her displaying my teeth like rows of soldiers grizzly from battle. But I couldn't let Mrs. Watkins distract me in her gardening clothes, I had hedging to do.

In the distance, separating my yard from the street was no other than Hedgy himself. Now no longer an old man, nor a pompous asshole looking at the horizon but a different face. An old woman's, withered from the years, dour and bereft of hope. I kept my eye on her as I moved forward, moving cautiously, and with the shears like a gun at my side. Her face, though, like the ones before morphed into something different, and still something different until I was so near, the shrubbery revealed itself for what it was: shrubbery.

"Shrubbery, eh?" I said and took a big long whiff of shrub. I wore a look of intensity, for no reason in particular other than a look of intensity, and carefully angled my head through the branches and leaves.

"So this is what it's like to be shrub," I said, and scratched myself where the spiders were crawling. I could have stayed in there all day, escaping the sun like a rabbit, and getting lost in the shadows. Shouting at old man Salisbury and laughing as he tried finding out where the voice came from. In fact I almost did stay in there all day, not from euphoria, but because my beard had been tangled on a branch. Birds were not the only ones trying to mate that glorious Sunday. No, Beardy also wanted a piece of action.

"Not today, Beardy, I've got papering to do. We'll head down to the fair and pick up some cotton candy, I know how that get's you." But the promise of cotton candy did nothing to untangle his mad grasp on the hedge. Soon there would be hedge babies. Bedge babies. I'd name one Mullet. Eventually, though, with some coercion, and some axle grease from a curious biker man, I emerged from the shrub victorious, although somewhat beaten.

It was happy hour down at O'McMacMcO'McDonavans and I was to get deadly drunk. I squinted at the 5 o'clock sun, licked my lips (the blood now clotted and crusty) and thanked God. I had thoughts of having at myself, but decided to wait for the more insidious surroundings of Inside. The birds were still flitting about, dancing, smiling, laughing. Their blue and pinks reminded me of wrapped chocolate, and it took some amount of effort not to head inside to get my gun for the killing of and subsequent barbecuing of. But it wasn't that kind of day. It was a good day. To say thanks, or for no reason in particular, other than the lavishness that which is my beard, a pair of birds who had probably been chasing each other all day landed in my own shrub and tried to hump. Tears welled up, friends. I had a good cry. My tears, although salty, only fueled the wee bundles of joy in my beard and sent them off horny as ever into the sun.


sybil law said...

So, I wonder what happens in your happy trail?!
It was a gorgeous day here. Lately, Easter here has been rainy, cold and dreary, but today made up for all of those years. :)

Asylum Dolly said...

I love your writing! They're so funny and surreal, and I can never tell which way they're heading.I had a good laugh through reading this- I even did one of those laughs where you accidentally snort. I can't get the image of you dancing in fuzzy bunny slippers while bleeding, holding hedge trimming implements and eating crackers all at once out of my mind.

Asylum Dolly said...

I meant "writngS" with the "S" after it. I could'be easily said "stories", yes. But I like the word (is it a proper word?) "writings".

John Dantzer said...

sybil- That's good a day can make up for years. It must have been a great day! It was sunny here, too. But windy.

Bon- Thanks! I am a multi-tasker when it comes to dancing and holding things and eating. I would use the word writings because it sounds better than stories and is more specific than writing.