Guess who’s just been published in a reputable journal of sufficient intellectual merit and great regional significance? My super-smart rockstar boyfriend, that’s who.
When it’s Indigenous Peoples Day.
Rumor has it that people all across this great country are celebrating Columbus Day by sleeping in late, picnicking at the park, and/or indulging in various vices ordinarily relegated to other pseudo-holidays like Mardi Gras, Halloween, and St. Patrick’s Day. But here in Berkeley, we don’t believe in celebrating the invasion of ignorant foreigners with an appetite for destruction. Oh no. Rather, we believe in taking this opportunity to reflect upon the native peoples who first inhabited this land from sea to shining sea, living off her fertile bounty while honoring her and respecting her right to exist with integrity. And how do we celebrate, reflect on, and support this unique cultural heritage and underappreciated ancestry? By going to work, of course–typing memos, answering phones, making copies, and milking the water cooler every fifteen minutes for want of a better diversion from typing memos, answering phones, and making copies. I raise my dixie cup of Alhambra water to you, Indigenous Peoples of the United States. May this day of celebration of your heritage be a productive one. Cheers!
(Did I mention that I work for a company that was founded on publishing Native American books and magazines? Hmm, perhaps the boss forgot too.)
Tuesday morning we had to move our cars out of the driveway to facilitate the chopping down of three perfectly good trees, two of which in the spring bore perfectly big puffy yellow blossoms the color of perfectly melted butter. Survey the carnage:
This travesty occurred soon on the heels of our new next-door neighbors flattening a charming backyard garden that boasted ten-foot tall cornstalks and tomato plants enough to produce an entire bag of extras just for us. Then, after said enemies of the environment had ripped out every living thing from fence to fence, they pounded down the dirt so tight that no living thing would dare sprout there again and all the squishy pink worms were buried alive in their little ribbed skins. And then they poured concrete. At eight in the morning. On a Saturday. It was Hell. I guess that’s what happens when you pave Paradise.
During Tuesday morning’s hackjob in our yard, however, the masters of destruction did not, at least, cut down, trim, or in any other way damage or molest the other plants in our yard, including the lemon tree, the fig tree, and the overgrown red-berry bush that supplies great autumn table decorations for the Martha-minded. It’s a good thing they didn’t touch it because then we would have lost an excellent specimen of my favorite type of spiderweb: the kind without spiders.
The bright spot of the day (and indeed of the week, after watching the Twins, the Giants, and the A’s go up in smoke and Arnold go down in history) was that we found a spot to park our cars under the one little outspoken tree in our neighborhood that can never wait for fall to fully descend upon its fellow foliage-bearers and bursts out its brass early in a private fanfare just for the two of us who bothered to stop, look up at the sky, and notice it in all its precocious seasonal splendor.