the inquisitive one

Someone knocked on my door. It was the inquisitive one, panting, and wearing fashionable running clothes that stank like rotten food tossed on a hot compost pile.

“Come in!” I said warmly. “What an unexpected surprise! Would you like to join me on my back porch?”

“What’s that big truck in your driveway?” said the i.o.

“That’s my landscaper. Would you like to join me on my back porch?”

“Can I use your bathroom?”

“Of course!”

I made the inquisitive one a glass of ice water. I heard a flush, and then the i.o. emerged from the bathroom smelling like rotten food tossed on a hot compost pile, mixed with my perfume.

“Thank you!” said the i.o., taking the ice water. “You know me well.”

That was when the inquisitive one accompanied me onto my back porch and witnessed the end of an era: my garden beds were being dug up, my deer fence was being taken down, and even my compost bins were being removed. My backyard, indeed, was no longer the site of a homestead. And I was no longer a true homesteader, nor even a pretentious wannabe homesteader, but a regular homeowner.

“I feel like I’m witnessing the end of an era,” said the i.o.

“You are,” I said, distraught and joyful at the same time.

“I gotta go, I’m running to DC and back today!”

“Okay, bye! Have fun!”

I let the inquisitive one out the front door and watched the fashionable running clothes move lithely out of sight.

That was when the i.o. ran to Washington, DC. The i.o. happened to run past the Supreme Court while some momentous decision or other was being handed down. The i.o. ran past a lot of people who were, for some unknown reason, walking around holding signs and chanting. And that was when the i.o. ran home.