My Friend Bob

I'm sitting outside on the back porch with my very good friend Bob.  It's a cool night out, slight breeze with the hint of a fire going on inside someones house.  It's just right after dinner and I'm enjoying the last of the day, the part where the night kind of slowly creeps out and you can just sit and enjoy it.  I believe this is called "sunset" in some circles.  I call it me and Bob time. 

The kids are inside.  The wife is inside.  Just Bob and I are here to enjoy the view.  The crickets are starting to come out to play us a little tune.  I want a beer but it's all the way inside and I don't want to go get it.  I could ask my family if they would bring me one but they won't as long as Bob is out here with me. 

I'm reading a book with the last of the light.  I am relaxed.  There is no one jumping on my crotch.  Should I decide to get up and walk around, there will be no toys that I will impale my feet on like some bush booby trap.  No one will ask me to do the laundry, clean a room or fix a toilet.  I can just take a quiet stroll if I want to. 

Bob doesn't talk much, which is fine with me.  I enjoy the quiet.  Most of my day is filled with endless questions and loud noises.  Occasionally, there is crying if someone got punched or we happen to be out of pop tarts.  But out here with Bob, it's nice and restful, a man can hear himself think with Bob.

I do pose questions to Bob at times, mainly just to get my own thoughts straight.  Should I or shouldn't I type of questions.  I'll ask him if it is a good idea to seed the yard again this fall or should I just wait until spring.  Should I encourage my daughter's new found love of fashion or should I squash it because eventually that means she will want to wear things that are to short, to bare and to revealing.  Should I tell my son the truth about Santa or wait until he discovers this stuff on his own.  I find his silence gives me more answers than an expert panel. 

Bob and I have gotten quite close over the last three days and I find it a downright dirty shame that I am going to have to kill him soon. 

Bob, my friend and compatriot, who allows me peace, is a spider.  If I were to describe him, I would say that he is about the size of a nickle.  He has hung his web right to the side of the outside door.  It gets torn up by the wind a bit but every morning, it's back in place.  I think he is a tad OCD which explains why he doesn't talk much.  Maybe he is afraid that his weirdness will scare me off and our friendship will be at an end?  But how could it when it keeps everyone else inside and I get to sit out here by myself. 

My wife has a different perspective on Bob.  She describes him as a large basketball sized death bringer with legs.  He's got pincers that could be used as the jaws of life.  Bob will have babies that will grow bigger than him and eventually join up with Mothra to eventually defeat Godzilla.  We are all just potential meals to Bob and he spends his evenings spinning his webs and his plans to destroy us all.  She is not a fan of Bob.

Neither are my children.  There is a lot of screaming when they see him.  Then they run around in a circle for a bit.  Eventually, they break something because that is what they just do naturally.  Perhaps a window this time or the vacuum cleaner, something to give me a challenge.  But all that screaming is done inside the house because they will not step near Bob.

No one will and as he guards the threshold to the backyard, I am alone with my thoughts.  In the quiet.  In the peace. 

I know Bob for what he is.  A therapist that prescribes tranquility.  I go outside to let the dogs out, he makes sure no one follows me.  I'm sure that Hossmom has a chore list three miles long.  But she is bared from coming here by her own fear.  I am free of the chores.  I am free of the demands.  I am free. 

For three days Bob has given me this respite and I have enormous gratitude to him.  That is why he hasn't taken a broom to the face just yet.  I have been running interference for him.  Hossmom started asking nicely.  "Please kill that monster on the back porch before it abducts one of our children" she said. 

I told her I would.  Then conveniently forgot about it. 

"Honey, death is on the back porch, please destroy it." she asked again.  I was busy that day, couldn't get to it. 

"If that unholy of hollies is still outside today I'm going to divorce you, take the kids, and leave you with the fat dog."  That one got my attention. 

Yes, Bob must die, there is no other way around it.  I could just push him off but no, I will not share him with another.  Besides, Hossmom will demand to see a torn body as proof of his demise.  So there is no other choice, I grab my broom. 

I tell him that I am sorry, that I didn't want this.  I tell him that if it was up to me, we would just hang out.  And if he had babies, I would talk to them too.  Eventually they could find porches of their own and create the very friendship that I find so rewarding with others. 

I think he understands as I take my stance and do what must be done.  A piece of me goes with him. 

Hossmom comes outside for the first time in three days.   She nods at the destruction that she sees that I have caused.  I am nothing but the tool for her whimsies and today I believe that tool is tired, so tired.  The kids come out with her. 

They all look in the backyard for a while, for just a moment it is silent and I am hopeful that we have turned the corner as a family. 

"Kids, go get Daddy a shovel, he needs to pooper scoop.  You guys help him."  Then she leaves.  Bubba Hoss throws a potted plant over the railing, Little Hoss breaks a wooden stair by jumping on it. 

I'm sorry Bob, you will be missed. 

No comments:

Post a Comment