Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Barry's House!

I went to Barry's house today! We arranged that it would be while he was away at a music class. I was there for exactly two hours. In that time, I managed to plant all 29 plants I'd brought with me, and also labeled them, and left 18 oranges and a thank-you note on Barry's front porch, and took home in return a potted ponytail palm houseplant, a note from Barry, one of Barry's business cards (carved out of wood: a laser-cut piece of wood, laser-etched with his contact information, to advertise his lasersmith services) and a bag of homemade taiyaki pancakes, shaped like fish and filled inside with red bean paste.

I had already eaten most of the taiyaki pancakes before it occurred to me to photograph them, but here are the last three. They are good! Barry is good at making food!

His note says, "I made taiyaki pancakes! It went okay. If the taste isn't right, take them home to try with peanut butter or chocolate sauce. The filling is red bean paste."


I was systematic about the planting. There was not a second to waste! He had left the gate to his back yard open for me, so I carried all my plants and my trowel back there and assessed the space, then started pacing off measurements with my feet and placing the potted plants where I wanted them to go. I first placed all the ones that will become large plants: incense cedar, Western redbud, toyon, mock orange. Once I'd decided where all of those should go and placed the pots accordingly, I took my trowel and planted them. Then I moved on to choosing spots for the smaller plants, starting with the ones I had just one of, and progressing to the ones I'd transplanted from volunteers in my garden, of which I had many individual plants per species. The large plants all went in the back yard, but for the small plants I put plenty in the front yard also. It seems like I must have looked odd to the neighbors - a stranger planting plants in a garden that wasn't mine - but I guess burglars are not known for planting plants in people's gardens, because there were plenty of neighbors around and none of them paid the slightest attention to me.

I basically landscaped his entire property today: front yard, back yard, side yards, everything. Only thinly - I'd definitely want to put in additional plants over time - but once these plants grow a bit larger, there shouldn't be any area in his yard that looks too obviously empty.

When everything was planted, I went around putting little index-card labels next to each plant and weighing them down with pebbles. I'd written the index-card labels in advance, so I only had to write a few extras for instances where I'd separated the transplants from my own garden into more separate plants than I'd expected when writing the labels at home. I'd also brought the pebbles from home, to spare myself time looking for them.

And then I sat on the bench on his front porch for a minute to write a final note, thanking him for the taiyaki pancakes.

When I got home, there was an email waiting for me that began this way:
Hooray! You're real! Our relationship was not just a long con so you could rob the house while I wasn't home!

You scored a lot of big points tonight, Cynthia! Not only doing very efficient work and getting lots of plants in the ground, but also for respecting my schedule and my property, for being reliable, all that jazz.

I'm over-analyzing your note :) Purple ink on lilac paper, you really do have a favorite color!
Soon thereafter, before I even had a chance to reply, I received a follow-up that began this way:
I just looked around and found all the plants, which was a lot of fun. Remember how I said that I hadn't really had an emotional impact from our conversations yet? Well, there we go. Seeing some physical connection to your presence is making me all kinds of happy.
So that's very good. April 5 is the earliest his divorce might be final. So I'm just counting down the days until April 5 for a first date.
Tags: barry
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