My Muse, and wannabe conscience, Moussaka, shouts me out of bed today. It’s Earth Day, she rants. Since you are a passenger on this Space Ship Earth, Moussaka yells, you must do something extraordinarily positive for her today.
Okay, Okay, Moussaka, I whine as I climb out of my sucks-the-life-force-out-of-you-while-you-sleep Tempur-Pedic bed. I’m up, and I’m moving, slowly, but moving. But first, a cup of tea, and some email.
When I finish brewing my cup of Lipton’s, I drop the used tea bag into the compost recycle bin. That doesn’t count, Moussaka yells in my ear. You do that everyday. Susan, you have got to do better.
I stumble in to my office, and, without turning on any lights since it is bright outdoors, switch on my laptop. (Yes, I know I’m supposed to say “boot up” but I like the terms “off” and “on” better. At least I know what that means.) No lights? That hardly counts as an earth-friendly gesture, Moussaka nags. I ignore her.
Here are emails time-stamped 4:35 A.M. Who gets up at 4:30, AND sends emails? Don’t people know they can sleep until, I don’t know, dawn?
Time to get dressed. Since the weather here in Northern California is unseasonably hot, I dig through my old San Marcos Academy trunk where I keep some of my out-of-season clothes. I fish out a pair of last summer’s shorts. Wrinkled. Do I press them? That means I’ll have to clean the cobwebs off the iron. Do I toss the shorts into the drier to shake the wrinkles out? No, shouts Moussaka, uses too much energy. I slide into them, wrinkles and all.
Now a tee shirt. Do I wear the Pueblo Bonito shirt I won playing Texas Hold ‘Em in Mazatlan this last Christmas? Or, do I wear my “Eyes of Texas” shirt I bought at a thrift shop off the $2.00 rack? Not a lot of interest in University of Texas here in California. I opted for the P.B. shirt. It’s white, reflects the sun better than the U.T. orange, and it was free. Moussaka almost smiles.
Moussaka wants me to do yard work. Pull up those nutrient, sucking weeds. Plant the Cosmo seeds you have in your kitchen junk drawer. You know for sure they’ll grow in this accursed Moraga clay. Put the umbrella into the stand, and shade that poor easily sunburned camellia.
But, Moussaka, it’s already hot out there, I argue. You know my dermatologist told me to stay out of the sun. But, Mous replies, you spend weeks lolling on the beaches in Mazatlan, right? Sun hats are in the coat closet, and you have more different kinds and levels of SPF sun block than the CVS drugstores.
Let’s compromise, I say. I’ll set up a jug of water and tea bags to make sun tea on the back deck. Then, I’ll go to the new produce market right here in Moraga using as little gasoline as possible. I promise to buy only locally grown fruits and veggies. And, I’ll even make sure to bring in and use one of the zillion shopping bags I have on the floor of the front seat of my car. Tonight, I’ll barbecue chicken on the gas, not charcoal, grill. Won’t use any electricity.
Moussaka crosses her arms, and taps her foot.
And, because I know it’s going to be hot today, I’ll turn on all the ceiling fans before I leave, and keep all the blinds closed.
Moussaka raises her eyebrows. She is still not impressed.
And, I’ll turn the air conditioning setting so it won’t turn on until it is 78 degrees inside, instead of 76.
I get a Moussaka eye-roll.
Moussaka breathes over my shoulder as I unpack my shopping bag when I return. A pineapple, she hisses in my ear. That came from Hawaii. What is the carbon footprint for that little buy?
But, it was on sale, I whine. I’ll grill it along with the chicken and the corn on the cob, killing three birds with one stone. You know I always cook too much, anyway. We’ll have chicken, corn, and pineapple again for dinner tomorrow. (Thank heavens my Darlin’ Bruce likes leftovers.) Look, Moussaka, I won another tote bag, and this one is purple.
Oh, good, she said. Are you going into the tote bag business? Last time I looked into the trunk of your car, you had that enormous Jazzercize bag, the one that’s large enough to hold a dead body, full of folded paper and plastic bags. That, in addition to that gaggle of totes inside the car. Keep this up, Susan, and you’ll end up on a reality show for the tote-bag-obsessed.
I’m doing my best for Earth Day, I say as I pout.
Um, Moussaka, says as she looks down at the floor, I goofed. You see, Earth Day isn’t until tomorrow, Sunday.
Pphhllltt. I’m going back to bed.