Long grass cut at the ankles and left on the field, naked, sun scorched and seared. The farmer prays for sleeping rain then checks the sky hopefully, fretfully, and faithlessly. Good and bad hay is bundled in bales and tugged by arms of good and bad children onto rusty old pickups, or sparkling new trailers, or clunking wooden wheelbarrows rolling on metal wheels. Then grass igloos in hot lofts where children and mice squeeze into small spots, a summer is spent sipping sweat tea and pulling hay remnants off clothing and out of hair.
I saw an old green pickup truck yesterday, dangerously overloaded with hay. Strapped down with dental floss. The truck turned right, the hay tipped right with it. I held my breath and started imagining my obituary.
“Buried under Hay”
“Hay she led a great life!”
“Hay, Hay, Hay, The End.”
The floss was strong and the hay hung on tight.
What a sight.
I wondered if the driver recognized then that his idea of adding that ‘one more row’ was a stupid one. I wonder if he held his breath when he turned the corner the way I held my breath when I watched him? I wonder if he prayed? Angel’s hands holding up hay?
All that hay brought back memories of a summer in a hay loft with contact cement. Oh, Lord I’m sure I would have had more brain cells for all of my entire life if I had just NOT sniffed all that glue.
I was young.
I was stupid.
I loved getting high.
I can still taste the glue in my mouth.
I blame Ann.
Some have sisters who help them to bake, and read, and play dolls. I had Ann.
She would drown me in the pool and give me contact cement to sniff.
I loved her.
It was one liter of contact cement. We stopped sniffing glue when we used it all up. It took a while. We shared though.
‘Come to the hay loft, here’s a baggie, breathe deep!’
We were the generous sort.
I couldn’t wait to grow up. I was going to have an apartment like Mary Tyler Moore’s with a walk-in closet filled with glue. I was going to live the life.
Things change along the way, as life does. When the glue ran out we found other things to do in the hay loft. Smoking was cool. Nothing wrong with striking a good match in a hay loft… ‘whoops there’s dad, butt it out before he sees!’ ..and we did, right inside the middle of a bale. It was the glue, it made us dumb 😛
I don’t know why I’m writing about hay today. Perhaps it’s because I’m thankful not to have died in it, or by it, back then or yesterday. Maybe it’s the walk I took this morning in an abandoned field. Fallen logs on fallen grass burned yellow under the sun… and the smell.
The smell of hay, pulling me back to the summer of ‘78 sniffing glue and smoking cigarettes like the bad ass babies we were back then. And tremendously thankful, that I didn’t get what I wanted as a kid.
I couldn’t fit any of that glue in my little closet 😀