Joe sees a pair of ravens circle above his head as he walks to the corner of his backyard. He sighs and grabs the lawnmower from its spot in the tool shed and pushes it across the backyard. The wheels creak and he thinks to himself that he should really grease them. He doesn’t. When he reaches the northeast corner of his front yard, he yanks the power cord and begins to push.
It is silent at first, but soon it comes roaring to life, like a child woken from a terrible nightmare. As Joe pushes the lawn mower forward, he thinks about how the once black canvas covering the guts of the machine has been patched and repatched with duct tape. What has it been, eight years since Dad gave it to us as a housewarming gift? he thinks to himself. We bought the house when Jamie was seven, so yes it had to have been eight years, he assures himself. Every Saturday morning it’s the same routine. He grabs the lawnmower from its spot, mows until he reaches the paved walkway, grabs some water and finishes the rest of the lawn.
But today something gets caught in the blades. He bends down and pulls a necklace from the tangle. It was the one that Sarah’s mom gave to Sarah and Sarah gave to Jamie. It must have been in the family for at least four generations. Goddamit, Jamie is always leaving her things in places where they shouldn’t be. Just last Tuesday she left her phone at Olive Garden. Or maybe it was last Monday, maybe Wednesday?. Joe could not remember but after dislodging the necklace, he continues to push the lawnmower forward.
The lawnmower consumes every blade of grass Joe forces into its path. The gasoline lights a fire in its belly that propels it forward like a man desperately running across a ground of coals. The lawnmower consumes the grass, but it must scream.
Pushing the lawnmower forward, Joe sees the Miller’s lawn and cannot help but be jealous. At the center of the greens is a marble fountain that only slightly draws his eyes from the shiny new Cadillac parked in front of the Garage. Todd must thinks he’s so great because of his job at the firm. He might have a great lawn but if only he knew about my late nights with Marissa. The cacophony dies down to a soft buzz. The look on her face yesterday — priceless.
He follows the corner and makes a sharp turn to the right. He parks the lawnmower as he steps inside for a glass of water. As soon as he is inside the house, a pair of ravens start picking at the cover. Their beaks rip into its flesh, their disgusting bills gnawing into the skin.
Todd comes out and is infuriated. Are you kidding me? Again? He walks over to the tool shed to grab a roll of duct tape — the second one he’s bought this year — and starts covering the fresh holes. It makes no sense why Todd’s neighborhood ravens attack his lawnmower, but they do and Todd always patches the holes they make.
He finishes reviving the deck cover. The ravens continue to circle overhead. Joe continues to push forward. If only it could soar away like the birds. No tears, only dreams now. The lawnmower continues to scream.
tl;dr it would suck to be a lawnmower.
Becky is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. Blogging’ in all Caps appears on alternate Fridays this semester. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.