i have employment again so i reckon i should be thankful. i am happy to be able to pay bills and such. i am less pleased with the 29 hours i’ve spent listening to training videos dripping with venomous anti-union rhetoric. after work i’ve been digging trenches for father and i leave that job covered in grime. but i feel dirtier upon exiting the break room at my paying job where every other word out of my coworkers’ mouths is something vile and sexist or otherwise bigoted. deep breath. my grandparents were migrant fruit pickers. i sometimes wonder what they’d have to say about these things.
it’s been so hot here. digging the trenches for the new water lines at father’s place requires waiting until the sun has dipped low or rising extra early and digging before the sun has crested the hill. today i dug at dusk. i’d already dug from the new water tank halfway down the slope. digging backwards. filling my shoes with earth. today i started from the base of a tall bank behind the house (without being able to see the first section). i didn’t want to stand on a ladder to dig so i dug a little at a time and made myself an earthen ladder as i went. swung the mattock over my head. pulled down earth. tamped it with my feet. and so on and so forth until i was up high enough to connect the two ends of trench. in places i was swinging at solid rock and sparks flew every which way. i had to fetch buckets of water and soak the earth and pull any dry grass that might kindle. when i swung the mattock especially hard great handfuls of rock would jump up and pepper my face and chest and i’d let out a yelp. the mothership was digging up above me and she looked over the edge of the bank and asked what was wrong. i said that rocks were going down my shirt. she said that if i kept it up i might actually look like i had a bust. i reminded her that i was still holding a mattock.
i remembered my heavy gloves this time but i managed to raise blisters again. most annoying. in happier news i unearthed a giant millipede last time and let him crawl all over me. beautiful leggy beast. purple perezia is blooming and the broken twigs of sumac smell sour and a little like boxelder bugs. every evening there are large flocks of turkeys bathing in dust and flattening the yellow grass.
in the garden my galeux d’eysines are making huge clasping vines. the rest of my squash have succumbed to roving bands of sow bugs. i feel like such a hypocrite when i go sprinkling the beds with diatomaceous earth and whispering “die! die!” since i’ve spent my entire life telling little boys not to harass or murder the things. and naturally right before i started exterminating them (bugs not boys) i read that they can live up to four years*. i alternate between rage and guilt. i felt similar pangs years ago when i read that earwigs are devoted mothers who tend their eggs so closely (grooming them and turning them over and over) that they starve to death. i just want a few fucking beans! i’m willing to share but they won’t be reasonable.
tonight i discovered that florine stettheimer’s oldest sister made a fancy dollhouse. various artists of her acquaintance contributed furnishings and such. marcel duchamp made a tiny version of Nude Descending a Staircase for it. i’m not sure if i find this charming or creepy. (says the woman who takes photos of plastic dinosaurs.) perhaps i shouldn’t judge. but what was it with absurdly rich women and their obsessions with dollhouses? a few months ago when i was visiting my father he told me about how he knew the silent film star colleen moore. he’d built her neighbor’s house. she’d frequently show up at parties there with her bobbed hair dyed jet black and boast about her dollhouses. i was previously unaware of moore’s dollhouse obsession. i think i prefer my eccentric dollhouse-crafting women of the frances glessner lee variety. at least her miniatures were useful.
*i also learned they’re classed as detritivores. i think that’s just about the best -vore ever. like the oscar the grouch of insects.