Being a teacher during the summer is as sweet as it is necessary. It is enough time to finally get all that reading, plotting and swimming done.
It is sublime. It’s Monday morning, and I think I’ll go read early eighties X-Men comics with my son for a whole hour, with a lapful of kittens. Right now.
Humans are overcome with hatred and jealousy upon learning of my two months of freedom. They say that my freedom is an affront to God himself. This is unfortunate because such free time is an earned reward. During the year, I must compete with video games, hunger and boobs for the attention of a specially selected group of fifteen-year-olds. It is a nearly impossible task. Therefore, I deserve it.
I have been showing up at my school two days each week during August to get my new classroom ready. When I do that, I am reminded of all the little things that must be done, and I enjoy the week off even more.
Outdoors, I’m doing something very important. There is a forest out back that the boy and I have spent large amounts of time cultivating. Five years ago it was just a swamp, but we built a dam that kept part of it from getting flooded. Then we tossed grass seed into the mud. Then the grass that grew the following season attracted massive amounts of grass frogs. We killed all the gypsy moth nests, and they have not returned. Last year, a great big deer showed up next to the fence. Then I ran inside to get my bow and aimed at the thing. I didn’t take the shot, because the deer was just staring at me and it would have been way too easy.
Poison ivy is the tricky thing. Even when I wear long heavy clothes, rubber gloves, and a surgical mask, and then use an axe to chop it away, there is still some exposure. I always wash the clothes and take showers right away, but it still happens that I get itchy. However, most of it is gone by now.
My girlfriend from college lives in Germany. Three years ago she was in the United States on business and visited me. She asked what kind of squirrels I had, and I said “grey squirrels.” Then she went on a rant (in that German accent of hers) about how European red squirrels were genetically superior to, and more intelligent than, the grey squirrels. The very day she showed up, a red squirrel appeared and began to aggressively chase the larger, dumber Graustlanden squirrels. Then, last summer, a fisher cat (little wolverine) invaded and began murdering domestic cats and squirrels, but the brave little red squirrel survived while many grey squirrels were shredded. This summer, there are red foxes instead, but the red squirrel is still around.
When the economy finally collapses, I will grow corn and stuff on that spot. This land was fully functional farmland 80-130 years ago, so I won’t even have to sort rocks. They have already been moved into boundary walls.
That land is my own field of dreams. Way back when, I heard the voice of Eris telling me that if I got rid of all the mosquitoes and poison ivy, then naked lesbians would one day have sex on that very spot. An appealing thought, and the smooth grass has other uses, such as attracting deer and more grass frogs.
It’s gonna work, too. The mosquitoes are at about 40 percent because the boy is clever about draining the puddles where they breed, and the extra frogs eat more of them. The poison ivy is sparse. My neighbor told me that she sold her place to lesbians. I’ve met one of them already. I complimented her on her shiny new Volkswagen convertible, and she complimented my scratched-up Jeep Wrangler. Life is beautiful, at least for a few more weeks.
The kittens will be ready to be given away in one and a half weeks. Kittens anyone?