With all the rain, I let my lawn get out of hand. It’s up to my hips. Some weeds are as thick as an index finger. There’s this vicious cycle that keeps me from mowing it: weekdays are hard because I have to work and then I want to relax. And my weekends, riddled with kid activities, always pull me away from the house in the daylight hours.
But this is getting ridiculous. My dog can’t even find his throw-toy anymore.
So, I head down my steps to go to the hardware store (they seem to have the answers to everything!). That’s when I hear an industrial leaf blower in the distance. To my right, down the street, I see a white pickup truck with a lawnmower in the back.
I put my keys back in my pocket and take off down the block in a jog.
200 feet up the road, across the street, through a gate, around the pool, and on the patio of an apartment complex, I find the leaf blower. It’s on the back of a man with noise-canceling headphones and a Metallica T-shirt.
I do my best to wave him down in the most non-threatening way possible. I’ve found bending down slightly, tilting my head, smiling, and raising my eyebrows in inflection works quite well.
He stops the leaf blower and we’re standing in silence by a pool that I’ve never stood next to. There’s something refreshing about it, like detouring off the main road after years of the same commute. My lawn, my house, and my life seem far away.
I make my pitch. He’s friendly about it and follows me back to my property to wade through my jungle-yard. He gives me a quote, tells me his name, and schedules me in. After a handshake, he trots back to the complex and I’m standing on my deck watching the gate close.
It’s Wednesday. I should be working, but the detour got to me. I’m off-trail and it feels good. I walk over and step into the weeds, not quite sure what I’m looking for, but delighted when I see it, down there at my feet.
I reach into the thatch and pull out a soft, faded, leathery brown basketball.
“I’ve been looking for you,” I say.
I laugh at how I got here, standing in the weeds, in the middle of some unexpected treasure hunt, where Isaac the heavy-metal-thrashing leaf blower is my enchanted wizard and a worn-out basketball is my pot of gold.
The lone cloud in the sky moves off the sun, warming up me. Seems obvious what’s next.
Time for some hoops.