The lil hucky and I, deciding it is obscene to waste precious water on a regular lawn out here in the high desert, decided to plow under the back yard and plant drought-resistant buffalo grass. To that end I rented a roto-tiller and went at it. Tiring, bone-shaking work, but fun. The most interesting bit was ripping out the extensive root system under the soil and discovering all manner of weird looking roots. The predatory, weed-like paradise trees trees in our area form these bulbous, misshapen nodes for new trees to grow out of. So alien looking, but those curving, fractal lines kept reminding me of fetuses, all day long. Odd image, I know. In a sense, though, I guess they are fetuses. For baby trees.
Afterward we went to the drive in. Longtime readers of these posts know of my abiding love for drive in movies. Packed up the kids and the lawn chairs and the twizzlers and the sleeping bags and showed up before the gates were even open. Played catch til the movie started. We saw Alice In Wonderland (better than I expected, but still way too much emphasis on art direction, not enough attention on story and character and narrative coherence). The movie is secondary. The trippy experience of being able to watch a movie in a lawn chair with stars and clouds overhead is the thing. The community of it all: teenagers flirting and necking, people walking back and forth from the concession stand with corn dogs and popcorn, whole families spilling out of the backs of vans and pick-ups. People talk. Babies cry.
The best part was that the car next to us was a gaggle of four sisters, aged 8 to 12. They set blankets on the ground next to the car to watch the movie together. Our eldest, who does not make friends easily, joined them, snuggling with them under the blanket as the night got colder. Not only did she make friends, she got to hang out with Big Girls! She came back to the car beaming.
That kind of thing doesn't happen in a regular theater, sitting in the dark and silence.
It certainly doesn't happen when you rent a movie to watch at home, doors and windows closed to your neighbors, the magic of the night sky unseen and forgotten.
It happens at the drive in.