When I arrived home after work on Thursday, Walt was mowing in front of Towanda. The grass was too wet to be mowed (but don’t ever try to tell HIM that) and was clumping up into those piles that stick to your shoes, to be carried inside and all over the fucking place no matter what you do, but that’s beside the point.
The smell of the fresh cut grass brought to mind an incident that happened the Spring before I left the narc.
I’ve said before that he lost his left leg below the knee and lost much of the use of his lower right leg. Walking over uneven ground was problematic and the yard was very uneven, making mowing a slow and painful process for him.
Because of all his moaning and belly-aching I took over mowing duties soon after I moved to The Coast. I was never able to do the job to his satisfaction or on his time table. It got worse when I started working and didn’t get home until close to dark – too late to get the job done, IMO, but he was in a lather because it was a fraction of an inch longer than the neighbor’s and that could not be tolerated – Narcland must be well groomed at all times.
On this particular day I had worked an eight hour shift on my feet on a concrete floor. I was tired and not in the mood to mow the lawn. It was close to dark anyway and could have waited another day. But, no. He got the mower out after telling me how painful it was going to be for him and how it was MY responsibility to do this job, blah, blah, blah. I decided to use my time wisely (IE in a way that might not earn me a lecture about how I was sitting on my ass while he was “working”) and was pulling weeds in the garden.
He made the first pass in front of the house, and being an arrogant man, he ran the mower too close to the house and broke off the hose bib that sat next to the front door. Water began to spray everywhere.
He screamed in frustration and ran inside to turn off the supply. While he did that, I moved the lawnmower so it wouldn’t get any more wet than it already was. I knew I was in for a tirade and it wasn’t long in coming.
You see, it was MY fault he ran over the hose bib. My working was a HUGE problem because chores around the house weren’t getting done. The yard “looked like a bunch of renters” were living there, renters being the lowest form of life in the narc’s opinion. Of course, the flip-side was that he was desperate for an income and the only way we could have that income was for me to work, him being too disabled to do Real Work.* I had to take whatever job I could get, and the hours that went along with it, just to get him to shut the fuck up about money. Scratch that. He never shut up about money, just changed his rants.
So now the water is turned off to the house, the narc is in a rage and it’s time for me to start dinner. Great.
The narc went into the back room to rummage for plumbing parts to see if he could find a solution. He could not. I suggested he could drive into town and see if what he needed could be found at Fred Meyer – the only likely source after 5:00 PM.
He came back about an hour later saying he’d had no luck. And now he’s hungry and the lectures begin. I don’t remember what I made for dinner that night, but I do remember being chastised because I hadn’t finished mowing the lawn while he was gone. He reamed me for having put some of my “crap” too near the board on the floor that covered the gaping hole that led to the water shut-off when it was actually HE who put stuff there and it wasn’t even exclusively “mine,” proving once again that narcs and their ilk always read from the same script.
The water was off for two days while he tried to get parts to make the repair (he had “more important” things to do first) and he lectured me on my irresponsibility, slovenly ways, uncaring attitude, whining (that was all him,) and lack of concern for what was A Real Problem.
What would I have done if he hadn’t been there? Feeling bitchy after another morning with no shower I replied, “I wouldn’t have sheared the hose bib off in the first place!” which didn’t win me any points but felt satisfying at the time.
I mean, really. The whole incident was a farce. I have no doubt he deliberately ran the damn thing over to Show Me What Could Go Wrong and “prove” how superior he is.
When he finally got the water back on I said nothing, hoping the incident would just go away and I could unclench my jaw. It came up again when the water bill arrived – MY irresponsibility was the cause of the price hike and he made very sure I understood my role in his little drama. I handed over the extra funds without a word because I was waking up to his games and knew it was only a matter of time before I left for good.
What an asshole. And how depressing that the smell of fresh cut grass should instantly call this memory up from the depths of my brain.
* Funny how he could work on his projects all day, though – outside in all weather, long hours bent over a boat, sanding and painting, or carting materials up and down the yard, hoisting things onto and off of trailers and a long list of other things. The problem was that he was unable to take direction from anyone else because he believes there is no one on earth more intelligent or capable than he is. How dare anyone tell him what to do! He just can’t stomach it. Not even for money.