I'm Back, Back in the Sisyphean Groove
The futility of reality has rudely interrupted my idyllic summer: after bailing Hurricane Irene induced sewer water from 2 AM until 7AM, we finally got the basement dry . . . but then a deluge sprang from the shower drain, and despite our bucket brigade, we could not lower the tide, and so all our previous labor was worthless . . . we had to admit defeat and carry my mother-in-law's furniture and belongings upstairs; the next day, while we were cleaning up, my back neighbor-- who lives at the bottom of the ivy covered hill behind my house-- motioned me over and very nicely explained that her husband thought that my stone-henge wall project was slightly over the property line and asked if I could move some of the rocks in case "they wanted to build a fence in five years" and though I was extremely pissed off at this, for reasons I will explain shortly-- I remained civil (I knew her husband-- who I've never talked to-- put her up to it) and I never mentioned that I had to tear out our original wood fence because their ivy engulfed and destroyed it, despite my attempts to trim it from our side, and I also didn't mention the countless cases of poison ivy I endured clearing out their weeds and vines and jungle-growth-- for the last six years, without even a "thank you"-- and despite the fact that my stones are clearly on the original fence line, which -- I checked the deed-- was build a bit inside our property line, and despite the fact that the rocks are to: 1) keep the hill from eroding 2) hold my mulch and top-soil in place 3) provide a beautiful border for the row of arbor vitae I've planted-- of which they will get a better view than me-- and 4) these stones will provide some physical buffer that will block the spread of their ivy, a buffer that I can stand on so I can do their yard-work because they have NEVER weeded this ivy bed or trimmed the ivy, despite this all this, and despite the fact that all my mother-in-law's furniture and household goods from the flooded basement were on our porch being dried and cleaned, despite all this, I decided to be diplomatic and roll a few of the giant rocks a up the hill a bit to assuage them . . . though as soon as I find some even bigger boulders, I'm stacking them atop the ones I have so that they slowly slide down and crush their ivy . . . and in truth I'm actually glad for all this pointless labor, because it is mentally preparing me for the endless waves of essays that my students will soon be handing me, from which there will be no respite until next summer.