Personal hygiene -- Your fronds will appreciate it!

Waiting for the coffee maker, staring out the window at the swim pool while squinting sidelong looks for ants around the kitchen sink, the sturdy middle school guy in the black t-shirt and black shorts is duly noted. Poor kid. He's gonna hit the Coke machine for his breakfast before he gets on the schoolbus. What's wrong with his parents? Why can't they feed him a nutritious bowl of oatmeal or something for the most important meal of the day.


Well, yeah, my kids ate a whole lotta Honey Nut Cheerios until they got old enough to appreciate a cuppa coffee before 8:00 class. They knew not to expect meaningful conversation from Mom at that hour. She just had to get their picky-eater lunchboxes packed. Best mornings had bacon and pancakes with Aunt Jemima syrup. I apologize to their teachers for the sugar rushes.

This kid in black out there by the swim pool is not getting a Coke. He keeps pacing around, then trying to relax on a pool lounge chair, then pacing again, looking over the fence to see if the bus is coming. He hollers at kids walking to the bus stop.

Someone throws something over the fence to the sturdy kid. He's looking for some privacy. Geez. Don't let him be shooting up! I don't want to see. I can't stop watching.

The kid in black's climbing between the palm fronds of the swim pool landscape that is intended to make the complex exude exotic luxury vibes. Crap. He's not gonna get undressed, please Jesus! I've seen a lot of things out by the pool from my kitchen window. That bobcat drinking that one time, the annual meeting of the mallard males, kids doing their best to get hit by lightning making me really nervous, a wise shaman barbecuing ribs on the gas grill...

This kid in the fronds, though, is reaching up under his shirt to first one pit, and then the other. He is putting on deodorant. He steps out from the fronds and walks to the fence, tossing the deodorant to someone. He arranges himself, then heads out the pool gate. Maybe he will get to sit by the cute girl with earbuds and violin case.

I think I can I think I can get moving. The coffee is ready. Life is good. My job is not driving a school bus full of sweating hormone-exploding middle school kids on ninety degree days.

Tomorrow the coffee maker will chug and gurgle again. Tonight I stare out the kitchen window at the Coke machine down at the pool. Did the sturdy kid do some homework? Did he have a chance to shower, squirt some Frebreez in his shoes? Will the bus driver be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed pulling up to load the kids Friday morning?

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder

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