Nancy has ben staying with me a few days helping to put in the vegetable garden. She accomplished the task I had set earlier in spring, the job of digging a deep and possibly fungus proof hole for the two tomato pants I have dared to try. We have beautiful compost contributed in major part by the chickens and so far post-transparent wilting has not happened. If I do say so the beds are in general well-designed and when the clipping is finished outside the fence, it will all be something to be proud of.
On the other hand her relationship with Teddy has not been very rewarding. They argue constantly in their own languages, but in the end he will insist that she take him for a walk, even though Cody has already been on a run with him. We might be taking a coffee break my apartment, simple enough stuff, taking it easy, but it is as if Teddy doesn’t want us to be enjoying ourselves, and although he is very polite he simply must interrupt.So, as I say, he comes looking for us, plunks himself on my feet and begins looking at Nancy in the most intense way. He gives a peremptory little bark, but Nancy pretends not to hear him so that he lifts his head in what he believes is a beguiling vision of his love. The conversation goes forward:
I love you more than you love me. Can’t you see how lonely I am?
Then Nancy counters:
I know you Teddy. You are going to go to the creek and get all wet, and then stink.
The dreary sequence continues on; it always works out the same way. Soon the ritual in all its tiny gestures and self serving speeches will have ended and Teddy will be hooked on to the leash, his fake depression lifted, prancing in his eagerness to get out on the road. You can hear him say, I won!
You have to agree; it is all so human, the course of argument so anticipated, the outcome so expected, the promise unkept, the awful smell that has by now begun to erase the lovely smell of Cody’s sister’s shampoo that, for his own reasons, Cody enjoys using on the dog. There won’t be another bath today or this week, but you can bet that before Nancy goes home there will be more adventures in the creek at Wilbur Park.
Nancy says she can’t help doing what Teddy wants her to do, and he makes her so mad at him that she actually calls him, Dummy. That offends me. After all Teddy is more my dog than hers. But I’m not going to argue about it, because the use of language is what we always argue about. And anyway, how can I complain about someone who has just helped me organize the vegetable garden, chop the parsley, and tell exciting stories about her special classes. She loves to help things grow. She loves helping her students grow. Her students love her so much they believe she is black like them. No I’m not, she insists, I’m white, see? She shows them her arm. But they say, No, Ms Bloom, you’re just light.
She’ll be back at work today, taking three of her girls to The Boston Museum of Modern Art. They’ve been studying abut Japan so today they are going to learn all about the Japanese Tea Ceremony. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of those kids did something at the Museum that might disappoint another teacher. But Nancy is never disappointed or discouraged by the misdeeds of any of her living charges. Her favorite saying right now though does make her chuckle a bit.
It’s all good.