The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Lawn Pilot

Still only one-third of the way through his job–navigating a riding lawnmower over two acres in front of the Lutheran church–he delighted in shredding each swath. He chose a bright orange shirt that day, feeling kindred to the construction workers laboring to resurface the parallel county road. Under his floppy hat and large sunglasses, he felt undercover, vaguely invincible. The workers hammered through the shoulder, he toppled milkweed.

Like a small child with a toy he made airplane noises to himself. Puttering his lips, roaring like an engine, he was free to imagine aloud, unheard over the lawnmower motor and the various blasts of road restructuring. Yet, his look of amusement was visible to drivers, hands on their foreheads in the crawl through the construction zone. At nearly ten miles an hour, he seemed to fly by the idling SUVs. In sheer glee he bounded over a large mound of grass. Now properly tended.

–Fort Collins, Colorado


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