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Monday, August 13, 2012

Welcome Home, Julia Whately Prep p. 40


I was on the riding lawn mower when Julia returned.  I thought she was going to be gone for the weekend, so I was surprised to see her black Saab pull into the short drive off of Swamp Road.  
The Head’s house has a barn out the back door of the house.  It was renovated sometime in the seventies.  The 1970’s.  It has an apartment upstairs. A set of stairs hang somewhat perilously off the outside of the barn.  The door opens into a small studio apartment with amenities, including a washer and a drier.  Below the apartment is room for their two cars and a small workshop/shed that Declan uses pretty regularly.  He is a neat and methodical man in all things.  No place you see it as plainly as in a man’s workshop.  
I chose to mow because it helps me learn the lay of the land, literally.  The weather has been threatening all day.  The clouds have been gathering in an ominous fashion.  A sensible man would take cover.  I am waiting for the first, fat drops of rain to herald the deluge that is bound to follow.  I pride myself on the straight lines I leave behind me as I mow the grass to a perfect 2.5 inches.  As tempting as it is to go shorter and reduce the time until the next mow, if we go much shorter, it is bound to burn. I like the curiously mindless nature of this task.  It’s a lot like driving.  You can do it on autopilot and have absolutely no recollection of having driven to your destination.  
Each time I pass the Head’s house, I see another installment in the drama of Julia and her guests arrival.  Julia emptying the trunk of a few things.  Julia leading a woman and two girls up to the guest quarters. Julia entering the back door of her own house.
Julia in running clothes. Julia gone.
I circle in on the very last strip of lawn that requires cutting on the common and .... plop.
The first, heavy drop of water falls.  I head the mower toward the service garage on the back of Whately Prep’s property.  Within one hundred feet of the garage, the skies open and the rain falls in a torrent.  Welcome home, Julia.

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