Portrait of a Suburban Male in America

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Today, on this hot and sunny fourth of July, a day on which an American flag has been planted in the curb every 20 meters along Hawthorne, I wash my car in the driveway as little kids play in the street around me. You can't get much more stereotypical than that, can you? Well, I guess if we had an apple pie cooling in the window…

Last night, we had a juxtapositional dinner of barbecued corn and curried vegetables–both quite tasty. Yes, I got a new BBQ and was trying it out. Chalk up another mark in the “stereotypical July 4th” column.

It now seems that the bottle bush plant conquered me, rather than the other way around. The bottle bush is a strange and unusual plant. Like a slightly more mundane Geiger alien, it bleeds unusual and caustic substance–in this case white latex. It is really creepy to behold and the clippings leave stains on the sidewalk, like the blood stains you would expect after a homicide, only white.

Two days ago, I did a little hack-and-slash number on Kim's bottle bush. Mind you–the last time anyone attacked the bottle bush, I got a frantic call on the cellphone to arrive with all sorts of ocular medical products. The day almost ended with an emergency room visit. Kim is allergic to the plant's ivory blood and got some of it in her EYE. On the other hand, I am not allergic to anything (that I am aware of) and got stabbed with about (quite literally) 100 needles as a kid as proof. I got some sap on my arms, but it was no big deal and washed off pretty easily. Yesterday, some crazy rashes and bumps appeared on the arm that got the sap. Calendula lotion has helped a bit, but they are still there today.

Next time, I am digging out its roots.

P.S. …except the stereotypical suburban male washing his car on the 4th of July does not typically show as many tattoos or piercings as I was showing (well, maybe tattoos if they are military or tribal), nor do they typically have Bauhaus, The Cure, and an occasional Darling Violetta song emerging from their headphones.

Posted in: Dear Diary

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