Chapter 48


So, you know that lawnmower my Dad had been looking at a while back? Sure you do. Well, guess what? It’s here now and you want to know what else? I got to be the lucky bastard to use it brand fresh and new!

Oh, joys.

Have you ever tried to start a brand new lawn more fresh out of the box? It ain’t easy! It’s a gas mower because it has to be for our weeds, oh, I mean ‘lawn’. It has a big engine on it too. Big and heavy! Fortunately for me, after my Dad showed me how to work the system, it has, like, this semi-automatic gear in it that sets the wheels so they’ll, sort of, pull you around the yard as you guide the mower. It works great for most of our front and back lawns, but I have to turn it off to get around the edges of things and around trees, well . . . tree. We only have one of those on our whole property, but it’s plenty. It’s a giant sycamore tree and if it isn’t dropping leaves all over the place in fall, it’s dropping these vicious seed pods that I think are the hardest things on earth. Those things, like, nothing can break them! They’re also round so you can use them as roller skates if you aren’t careful where you are walking. I’m not looking forward to ‘seed pod’ season. In order to mow the lawn, I’m gonna have to rake those things up and I mean every last one! See, if even one of those things hits the lawnmower blade it could break the mower or the mower might cause the seed pod to be flung out with the speed of a bullet! They can break glass and you sure as hell don’t want one hitting you in the shin! The last time that happened with the old mower I had a bruise on my leg that took two months to go away!

Well, that was a pointless bit of blogging right there wasn’t it? But, hey! If I can’t complain on my own blogging journal than what good is having one, right? I bet you’re laughing your ass off at me anyway, Nameless Hacker! It’s ok. I deserve it!

One thing about lawn day is that it does tend to make things smell nice, especially on a warm day like today. It was warm, rather, hot enough that I had to take my shirt off. I had to! It was soaked and sticking all over me! That is so-o gross, dude!

“Hey!” I heard from the house.

“If you’re gonna give the whole neighborhood a show, at least put on some suntan lotion! That sun ain’t no joke today!” My Dad told me with what looked like a smirk on his face. It’s true. I am totally not someone that undresses in public too often, but I couldn’t help it today. It was just so damned hot! I did as told though. My lily-white skin sunburns stupid-easy!

“Oh, and I think your fan club just arrived. Heh heh!” My Dad looked at somebody behind me, chuckled and then went back in.


I turned and saw the stupefied face of Marie standing there with her hands over her mouth. Normally, I’d have been scrambling to put my clothes back on, but figured it was pointless with Marie. She’d already seen parts of me I don’t even get to see, thankfully. I don’t know what had her so ‘verklempt’ today. Chandler taught me that Jewish word that apparently his friend Greg had taught him. It means ‘all choked up with emotion’.

“What’s your problem? Hehehe!” I teased her.

“You really should warn a person that you’ll be prancing around your front yard half naked! You’re liable to give a girl a heart attack from ‘OMG’!” Marie said ‘cheekily’ as Cedrick likes to say.

“What, from ugly or just my blinding whiteness?” I half-kidded. Like you know, I’ve never had much confidence in my body.

“From shear . . .” Marie got this really perverted look on her face when she leaned into my ear and whispered “. . . fuckability.” Now it was my turn to put my hand over my mouth and stifle an ‘OMG’! That was just so . . . raw!

“Like, what the Hell, Marie? Geeze!” I figured my whiteness turned to instant redness with the full-body blush she gave me with that little number! She looks like an angel, but Marie is pure Devil under all that sweet ‘innocence’.

Just for that, I went to put my nasty, sweaty shirt back on which made Marie whine at me not to. But, I figured the next thing she’d be doing is trying to slather me with the suntan lotion. Not that this would have been a bad thing, necessarily, but I think she’d have gotten too big of a kick out of it and this in front of my Dad! I could just feel his eyes on us! LOL.

“So, are you hungry? I brought sandwiches and cold fried chicken!” Sure enough, she was carrying a picnic basket. It was the kind you might see Little Red Riding Hood carrying around. I didn’t even think such things were actually real!

My tummy growled at the idea of lunch, but I knew that I had to finish with the lawn first so: “Sure, but I have to finish. Dad needs this done before things get too hot.” I explained and realized my mistake immediately.

“What’s wrong with . . . hawt?” Marie actually wiggled her eyebrows at me! Oh, Lord how do I walk into these things?

“HOT is when things like skin start to go crispy if folks stay out in the sun too long.” I winced as I heard my Dad on the porch. I looked up to see him grinning like a Jack-O-Lantern, I swear! Marie first looked shocked that she’d been caught totally perving out on me and then she blushed redder than Little Red’s hoodie!

“See? This heat’s getting to everyone today! Even Marie’s feeling it! Why she’s turning as red as a beet right now!” I totally gaped at my Dad who actually said that with his own mouth! Right in front of Marie and everything!

“So, maybe we should all get indoors. I have some lemonade made. I can finish up with the lawn later if it cools down a bit around here.” My Dad chuckled and Marie and I just looked at each other and giggled silently as he turned to lead us into the house. I didn’t know whether to be embarrassed, start laughing, or start crying! It was so weird seeing my Dad tease us both like that and not even be worried that Marie was basically mind-raping his baby boy right in front of him! It was a flirtatious side of him I’d never seen before!

After the shock of it, I was rather pleased about it! At least, I didn’t have to feel ashamed about being flirted with in front of him, now. With Marie, this would be true, but I’m still pretty sure it wouldn’t be the same thing if it was Billy flirting with me, though.

It was like my Dad had, on some level, accepted that I was growing up. I wonder if it also had something to do with seeing me shirtless for the first time in like forever! I’ve always been pretty modest. I don’t go parading around the house like Jamie does in nothing but tighty-whities. So, I imagine, it hasn’t happened that my Dad has actually seen my ‘development,’ I guess.

I don’t think I’m that ‘developed,’ but also know I’m not . . . fun-sized anymore. ~sigh~ I’m 5’9″ now! I know because he measured me the other day. He did it on the wall with the tic marks showing my development with little dates next to the measurements! In one year, I went from 5’5″ to 5’9″ with most of that happening during my time at my Uncle’s out in the ‘sticks’ with Persky the Horse.

Anyway, we went out into the back and set up the lawn chairs and tables out in the grass. I made sure to get a new shirt. I was tempted to shower too, but figured it wouldn’t be safe with Marie prowling around! Afterward, silly as it sounds, Marie helped me plant some new flowers in the flower beds in the back. My Dad had gotten a couple of rafts of peonies. It was the first time since Mama died that he’d allowed peonies in the yard. They were Mama’s favorite and she took delight in planting them right there in the flower beds, right where Marie and I planted them today.

I noticed my Dad would turn and watch us as he trimmed up the short bushes that were starting to get scraggly. You’d think doing chores like planting things and mowing the lawn would make for a horrible Saturday afternoon (and normally it would), but with all three of us out there working together, chatting, and goofing around it was really nice! For instance, Marie had found the water hose with the sprayer still attached to it. She, basically, gave me my shower whether I wanted it or not. Hehehe! It wasn’t a bad thing, really. It was getting hotter toward about 3 PM and getting soaked actually felt fantastic! I kept my shirt on though! Unfortunately, the shorts I was wearing were just cotton trunks and they showed my underwear through them, much to Marie’s sick delight.

“Peak-a-boo! I see you!” She said pointing as she came up to me and then . . . spanked me!

“Hey! Ow! Stop that you silly!”I protested! Wow, the way that came out didn’t sound gay at all! Marie immediately picked up on that and teased me.

“Boy! You’ve been hanging around Chandler way too much! Geeze!” She rolled her eyes and then walked back into the house, making over-exaggerated ‘fem’ gestures.

Fem: girley-boyish is how Chandler explained it. I asked him about it after our time with Sher-Sher due to his really laying on the ‘Gayness’ with a trowel for her!

It was funny to watch Marie on one level, but it hurt a little too, deep down. Down where my truth is. Down where speaking that way feels ‘right,’ I guess. It passed quickly, that feeling, but it was there. I imagine I’ll always have that feeling deep down there where my true self lives.

“That reminds me of the other reason I came over today other than to har-ASS you and help you plant flowers. Chan wondered if you wanted to come down to the city with us tomorrow to help him set up his exhibition. After church, of course.” She said.

I looked over to my Dad who shrugged at me. “Whattya lookin’ at me for? If you wanna go, then go!” It wasn’t said guilt-trippyish, but, kind of, enthusiastically which I thought very strange. I felt my head cock like I didn’t understand because I didn’t understand! I’d always ask permission for going places.

“Son, you take responsibility for things around here just fine. You don’t need clearance from me anymore to do stuff on your own spare time. Just let me know where you go off to so that I can come get you if you need a ride or something. Cool?” My Dad was being really cool about things and I couldn’t help but feel a bit shocked by that too!

Something changed today! Something definitely changed between my Dad and me. I should have guessed it when he was watching me do the lawn today. I’d taken that duty on by myself without him having to hound me like usual. I figured he’d spent good money on that mower and that it was only fair that I start taking it seriously. It seemed like a no-brainer to me at the time this morning when I decided that was how my Saturday was going to go. I suppose it was a habit I picked up when I was at my Uncle’s last summer. He had a list of things for me to do and he trusted me to do them and I, just, did! He needed those things done and he depended on me to help. It was like a given on the farm.

Today, without the pressure of homework assignments and projects to complete, I felt the need to be doing something productive today. So, I just got up and started doing. That’s all. No biggie.

With a feeling of confidence, I agreed and Marie giggled and clapped her hands, which I thought ‘tho thilly,’ but kept that to myself this time.

“Yay! Now I won’t be so bored! Chan will be by to pick you up after about 11-ish.” Marie said. A-ha! I figured she had an ulterior motive for all this!

“Ok, then. I’ll see you tomorrow. I need to finish up with the lawn so I’ll see you then.” Marie was a bit surprised and disappointed that I was dismissing her already. For some reason, she looked over to my Dad for maybe him to ‘belay’ that order, as he likes to say at times.

“Hey! Don’t look at me! You heard the Man! He’s got things to finish, I guess.” He said like just a ‘dude,’ you know? So weird!

I ‘favoured’ Marie a kiss on the cheek, as Cedrick likes to say, (which gave Marie a kick) and finished the mowing. Thankfully, the shade from the afternoon made the finishing work on the lawn a lot easier. Plus, I was, kind of, getting a kick out of the new mower! I didn’t realize how hard the old one had been to work. This one’s almost fun!

Oh no! When chores start to sound like ‘fun’ I know I’m in trouble!

This is Brandon, the not-so-fun-sized-anymore Man of the house!

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