Green Rectangles, Cement Borders

The small front lawn is doing what it can to regrow its grassy hairdo a few days after a mowing. The cement hints at sizzling under the coming Summer blaze of an easy Saturday meant to be spent lounging on porch swings at least and grilling over drinks in the park at most. My legs try and soak up some sun between a pair of old Volcom shorts and my sockless shoed feat.

A pair of robins is dancing back and forth from one end of the small patch of grass that lies here in front of ours, the ugly house on the block, each with a worm hanging in its mouth as a hundred tiny neon red spiders swarm over our stoop doing whatever those little creatures tend to get up to in their raving gangs. A worm, not quite big enough for Nightcrawler status, squirms on the hot pavement, writhing and twitching, at times even jumping up off of the grey fryer in what a human mind can only imagine as pain and suffering, but which a worm may or may not even be able to understand as anything more than instinct. A robin flutters in the shade of the alley no more than three feet away and half a baker’s dozen worth of thoughts jump through my head.

“Should I move the worm into the grass and stop his suffering?” comes first, followed by “Worms are really gross and make me a bit squeamish.” Then I wonder if by me helping the worm to safety am I depriving the robin of an easy meal. Everyone likes birds, even if they are predators. Few people outside of the realm of young boys making mud pies actually like worms. If the robin were a fox and the worm were a cute little bunny, everyone would root for the bunny, even though the fox needs to eat, too. All of these thoughts burn through my mind at record momentary speed and as the worm’s writhing goes into seizure-like explosions I grab a piece of trash – some SPAM for my mailbox touting the local Turkish pizza parlors commitment to excellence – and help the worm onto it, then drop him into the grass nearby. He continues to twitch for a few minutes and I’m certain the robin is going to take the advantage, but instead the bird flies away and the worm slowly regains itself. I notice the other two robins in the front lawn, both big breasted and flaunting their own wormy catches. One of them flies up to an overhead telephone wire and sings out a song. This particular bird is rather scrawny and I wonder if she’s calling for her children or trying to find a lucky robin male to split the find with. When I look back, the worm has disappeared under a leaf and presumably back into the ground.

A few swallows catch my attention as they kick at eachother and manage to kiss mid flight in some presumably advanced weekend ritual, perhaps akin to our meeting at sports bars or wearing ties to work. A couple of small flying insects, bees, flies, whatever, do their thing among the flowering weeds and rocks around me as my cigarette runs out of steam and I head back into the shady confines of my happy apartment in this, the ugliest house on the block.

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