He’s Mean

Most people consider weeding the garden a burden and put off the chore until the worry of neighbors talking is an even heavier weight to bear. Not Meg. Donning one of her signature dollar store, straw cowboy hats (the collection began to grow a few years ago after her daughter, Bronwyn, came home her sophomore year with one and left it behind because it looked better on mom). Now it’s a running joke between them and Bron brings a new one home almost every trip.

Pulling weeds is Meg’s therapy. Letting her mind nibble away on a worry while her gloved fingers slowly, purposefully, extract the unwanted growths has brought many creative answers to daily problems – gifts from the garden gods, she likes to say.

Today’s trouble rolling around her noggin is particularly perplexing.  She had overheard a distant co-worker in the adjacent cubicle tell someone on the phone: “…he’s mean when he gets drunk, and he’s always drunk.”

After about 40 minutes, the garden gods give Meg an unexpected answer and her shoulders drop several inches as she exhales a breath she didn’t realize she was holding.