Occasionally, a Yard Yeti falls from grace. Wanders away from the garden and stumbles into the Dark Side. It is a rare occurrence, but it happens as in every garden, as in every heart, lurks the struggle between good and evil. There is a wonderful line in a Mary Chapin Carpenter song, one I memorized long ago on road trips with my CD player blaring to keep me on the right side of the highway on the long way home.
“Sometimes you’re the windshield. Sometimes you’re the bug.”
Falling on your face, skirt tucked into your underpants walking through the office cubicles, spinach in your teeth as you flirt with your twenty-seventh Perfect Match.Com insufferable mismatched date, sharing a Yoga Mat with a twenty something spandexed beauty while your cellulite spills over the top of your sweatpants, going for the burn only to break a hip, being the last on your block to know, and the first on your block to be egged. Apologizing for the things you did not do, turning the other cheek for sins you did not commit, hiking up your big girl pants while wishing for a thong. Sending out love in hope of return, only to find your Outgoing Mail Box full and your Inbox deserted.
Wanting what you think others have, and wishing for things you don’t.
Even a Yeti succumbs to temptation. The sweet and satisfying taste of righteous anger.
This is a short yet sweet chapter, for I promised not to reveal the Fallen Yard Yeti, as she has since returned, damp and dusty from a very long ride on the windshield of the bus that hit her while she was standing in the middle of the road trying to decide which way to go, with her fists balled up, wads of Kleenex at her feet following her own trail of tears.
She looked a lot like me, when I returned from Camp No-See-Um, white and pasty from a lack of sunshine. Sulky and sweaty on a hot summer day in a hot summer studio with a microphone in hand and a lack of a story to tell. My I-Am-A-Yard-Yeti story, no longer on the tip of my tongue, very far out of reach, languishing in the unfairness and bewitched by the breathless beauty of the Yard Yeti women. Wanda and Fifi and Gladys and Eunice.
Perfection. Or so I thought. The Yard Yeti Women are the perfect and perennial gifts of the garden. Flawless in nature. Unique in design. Gifted. Nourished. Blessed. A parade of pompous plumage and perpetual plenty.
I wanted it. I wanted it with all my heart. I wished and I hoped and I imagined and I dreamed and I envisioned and I chanted and I visualized. I could see it. I could taste it. I could smell it in the air. I could hear it in the chime of the bell on the clock tower on the corner of Main Street.
I wrote to tell you about the Yard Yetis. I swam in the pool with them. Tried to match them stroke for stroke. I sang their praises into my microphone, and told their stories with wonder and delight. But tonight, I fell from grace. I got mad. Well, first I pouted, and then I yelled and then I stomped and then I roared, at the terrible unfairness of waiting. Hopelessly waiting for my turn. My chance.
Watching and waiting. Waiting and watching.
Until I saw her fall. Right outside my window. Falling and flailing and fighting mid-air at the unfairness, it was supposed to be easy, life isn’t fair, why not me, I can’t keep this up, let someone else do it, I didn’t sign on for all this florid fantasy, the world is a mess and you expect me to fix it? I am angry, do you hear me? I am an angry Yard Yeti and all of you, you passers-by, you on the sidelines observers, you now you see me now you don’t, you sneaky, cheeky, five minutes of fame celebrity wannabes, you want a piece of me, well you can have it, because being a Yard Yeti is a full time job and not for the faint of heart, and sometimes I just wish I could go back and sit in my garden and wring my hands and weep about my shortcomings and human failings and have Eunice and the girls fly down and rescue me.
I leaned way out over the window ledge expecting to see the bug on the windshield that was once a Yard Yeti. Instead I saw Officer Dooey standing in the middle of Main Street, rubbing his eyes and scratching his head. He saw her fall too, and called Mayor Yoo Hoo on his walkie talkie to prepare him for the worst, but the bus slowly idled in place and there was not a single trace. Not a single trace of a tragedy. Instead, the flicker of lights high above the trees on the outskirts of town.
My heart fluttered. Skipped a beat. Matched the frenzied flickering firelight hovering on the horizon.
Someone fell for me.
Head over heels for me.
Fell out of love for me so that I would see...
That I could be...
A Yard Yeti...
Just like the flowers of August in my garden, slightly brown around the edges, but with a tiny slight of hand, the eraser tool and a touch of technology, a not so perfect, perfect beauty.
Chapter 25 | Chapter 27