My husband went out to mow the lawn last week. The good news: he came back. The bad news: he came back after cutting only half of the back yard. He entered the kitchen with an announcement.
“Mower’s broken,” he said.
“Not again,” I said, feeling like we were caught in a moment of déjà vu – which we were, sort of.
When it comes to lawn mowers, he and I have witnessed our fair share of failures. We buy them. Use them for a short time. They break. The cycle repeats. Because of our history of bad mower karma, I had no reason to doubt my husband’s latest declaration of death. Still, he perceived this breakdown as significant, somehow.
“You’ve got to see this,” he said.
No I don’t, I half whispered, half screamed inside my head, hoping he hadn’t suddenly become telepathic. I couldn’t imagine how a broken mower could in any way be of any interest to me.
“I believe you. The lawn mower’s broken,” I said, trying to keep disinterest from leaking into my inflection. I wanted to go back to peeling potatoes or collecting dust bunnies or doing whatever I had been doing before he broke the lawn mower (again).
“The engine came loose from the base,” he said, as though this impressive piece of information would entice me into the back yard.
“I believe you,” I said for the second time in as many minutes. “No need to prove anything to me.” (Trust is important in a marriage.)
“C’mon,” he said taking me by the arm and leading me to the back door. “Humor me.” (Humor is important in a marriage.)
And that is how I found myself in our back yard, staring nose to nose with a lawn mower, which was indeed broken – not that I’d had any doubt. The base, or whatever you call it, appeared cracked along the inside edges where it was supposed to attach to the engine. I figured we had ourselves another dead machine. I pictured the broken beast taking its place in a hidden part of the backyard, behind the garage, next to the two other inoperative mowers residing there.