I was mixing a small batch of mortar cement on a scrap of plywood on the tailgate of my truck. It was a cold/damp/overcast day requiring a gray sweat shirt from Army surplus over a white tee from an oyster bar in Key West.
I listened to a meditation cd of beach waves and gulls, eventually finding a cadence to my work (folding a little more water and a little more cement “flour” into each other –as if working a large lump of dough).
A hawk drifted over in ever-widening circles.
When the cd played through and stopped, all that was left is the sound of still air.
Every so often a persimmon drops from a nearby tree, landing with a hard thud or occasional smack.
In between persimmons, it’s so quiet in the country that time seems to wander away from its spool like slack fishing line and one becomes lost in the subtle emptiness of it.
Later, hearing what sounds like a car approaching on the gravel, I glance back to see a wild hog charging!
It’s coming at me snorting/grunting/wheezing (a combination new to me). I think about getting out of the way but my The Brain couldn’t get through to The Feet.
It was too late. The thing slammed into my leg then reared up on its hind quarters like a friendly dog.
It was then that I noticed the pet collar (and no tusks).
I petted its head and the thing lay down, letting me scratch its back and stomach. Right after that, it rolled over and chewed some my Bermuda grass.
Then it got up and sniffed around in the yard awhile –eventually deciding that an cement bag would bring some laughs.
It thrashed, ripped and jerked it side-to-side, making a big cloud of cement dust.
Amazing. The hog and I were blanketed in dust.
Then sun came out and the sky turned blue. The hog and I were so happy.
Then it trotted over to the ruins of my vegetable garden to inspect the buggy green and rotted red tomatoes.
Then I heard a couple of sharp blasts on a whistle (reminding me of high school football games) and my guest ran off as abruptly as it had arrived.
Later I learned it belonged to a neighbor.
She had named it Winston.