Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

One summer, a watermelon grew in my driveway.  I did not plant the seeds or water it or pull the strangling weeds out of the bed of rocks in which it grew.  I remember looking out my window and seeing it there, thriving in shades of pale yellow and deep green.  After i picked it, everyone agreed that we had never had a watermelon half as good.  It was juicy without being gritty.  The flesh was almost magenta.  It was perfect.

That same summer, I tried to put in a garden.  I started the seeds inside on the windowsill in my bedroom.  I tenderly watered the peppers and cucumbers, corn and tomatoes, turning them so that they could soak up the sunlight, protecting them from drafts.  I bought a truckload of expensive soil and tilled a plot.  Under the springtime sun, I dug holes in perfect lines and gingerly dropped in the budding plants.  I watered it meticulously.  I fed  those tiny plants eggshells and Miracle Grow.  Not a weed or a rock disgraced the face of my garden.  By June, when the leaves on the tomato plants were yellow and the corn sprouts had withered in the ground, I realized that my garden had gone completely to pot.  By August, the good intentions I had planted with each little cluster of well tended leaves had died as well.  I was going to be a good wife.  I was going to make a good home and be everything to everyone.  I would never be tired or selfish or want anything beyond the end of my driveway.  All of those meager ambitions never grew.  They wilted then rotted and turned into evil, brooding thoughts of freedom and store bought produce.

In mid September, I went outside at midnight.  A high half moon hung above my head as I coated my hands in expensive soil, Miracle Grow, and eggshells.  I would dig up my good intentions and my sweet disposition that I foolishly tried to cultivate in narrow, perfect rows.  I pulled up each little plant by the roots and pitched them into the darkness.  I fell asleep in my chair on the porch, admiring my garden. When I awoke, I shook off the expensive soil and packed a bag.  I had decided to find a bed of rocks in which to thrive.

Uploaded 07/14/2011
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