He scans the yard for traces of winter. Noticing small bits of paper, he heads in their direction. My view from our deck is much better than his. I have this entire yard all in my view. I spot a chunk of my orange sled on the timid spring yard. The sled had been devoured by a jump I had made this winter.
“Dad, the sled!” I say
“What?” He shouts back
“The sled, the orange thing!” I say with a hint of sarcasm.
He turns around with his arms down at is sides as if he’s ready to give up.
“I can’t hear what the fuck you’re saying! Just come down here and tell me already.” He rambles
Our once beautiful deck is now a staggered mess. I walk along the outside of its perimeter, tracing the flaking paint with my pointer finger. Underneath the paint there is wood, it is shriveled up and dry. To my left is the cheap plastic table we bought to host family dinners. At that table we watched my parents rejoice after a long day of work, my sisters and I. We would eat crab legs and drink soda. To my right lies the rusty grill we would cook our dinners on. It lies just as resigned as the rest of its deck friends. I walk down the deck steps and across the yard to where he stands.
“I was just letting you know there was a piece of my sled by the shed over there.”
“Okay, so go pick it up! I can’t hear you from that far away. Just come over here and say it.” Rambling still, but with a nicer tone.
I gallop past the shed across the yard to where the orange piece lays. I pick it up and notice the ground below it. It was here that my mother had her garden. She would come out every Saturday morning to tender plants that would never grow. This garden eventually turned into a mess of weeds.
It was the motivation behind many arguments.
“Nothing grows Sandy.” He said
“That’s fucking bullshit and you know it.” She said.
It now scars the yard, begs no questions, people know. I notice him rummaging through things in the shed.
“What are ya doing?” I ask
“Looking for the lawn mower.”
“Isn’t that it under the deck?”
“Oh yeah. Go grab that would ya?”
I am happy to oblige. I didn’t want to spend any more time near that shed. The shed had a terrible smell to it. Over the years, he had forgotten it. Now it was home to all of our toys and bed frames that we grew out of. Some things from the shed did turn fruitful though. While, it lay’s in ruins, it was the first time I had played the drums. He bought them for me. I loved them so. The area underneath our deck had been let go just as bad. Aside from the many water hoses, it was home to the computer desks of mine. I had many; it’s all I did, that computer. It held the hand of about four different lawn mowers. All of which looked specific in its own special way. Rust was the deciding factor, it colored them all so sad. We tossed my grandpas arm chair under it when he passed. It was still great for sitting though, just not aesthetically pleasing. I wondered at what he thought of this whole mess? I fell out of the day-dream when I realized: the dead are dead are dead are dead. Now he’s focused on the road aside our house, a car driving by. It’s my mother!
“Dad, was that Mom?” I question
“No.” he claims
Focus is a scary thing. You focus too much on the bad and it becomes you. You focus too much on the good and it will leave you. You focus too much on the why and it will haunt you. You keep everything in focus, a balance, the good and the bad, the why and the how, and it will help you. He motions for me to come up to the shed. I walk to the shed.
“I found the mower.” He says
“What, none of those ones work?” pointing to the deck.
“No, I just want you to mow the back and the side. I can do the front, alright?” He says
“Alright.” I say