I was doing yard work at my girlfriend’s mothers. In the next yard a couple of guys from a lawn service were working. We’d crossed paths but they’ve been keeping a safe distance from me. Smart fellows.
I caught them looking at me askew from time to time. During one of our passes by each other one of them asked if I lived there. I told them no, I was just the grunt. They accepted that as we went back to our jobs. After that they were downright helpful.
One of them would come over and implore me to take a break and have some of their water. A couple of times they picked up the leaves I was collecting and put it in their truck saving me a couple of backbreaking walks to the leaf disposal area.
Then we cemented our friendship. One came over, got my attention, pointed at his watch and said,
“Cerveza, por favor?”
“If that means you’re going to pour a beer for me as a favor I’m gonna have to say damn straight.”
He laughs and we go and sit on the back of his truck. We exchanged pleasantries while one of the guys served as translator between me and his friend.
It went pretty smoothly and we all had some laughs. During the conversation he had to ask why I was doing this. He said in his four years in this area he didn’t see many of my kind doing the type of work I was doing. Oh sure, he went on to say, my kind wasn’t afraid of mowing the lawn, but the crap we’d been doing, let’s just say, they are much less likely to tackle.
“I always say the only reason my girlfriend stays with me is because she’s thinks I’m a Mexican.”
There’s much laughter during the translation and even more when his friend responds,
“He says you much be from the FAR north Mexico.”
I laughed and said,
“I am. L.A.”
A while later we parted ways. I said I hoped I’d see them again but was told they never knew where they’d be sent but they also looked forward to it.
“Don’t worry, if we come back, we’ll keep an eye on things for you.”
See? Not everything about yard work sucks.