Those Cardinals Again

I spent part of today mopping up the bedroom carpet with my landlady–the leak turned out to be a blocked condensation pipe for the AC, which backed up and soaked everything–and bleaching the wood underneath. So now half the carpet in the bedroom is draped over boxes with fans blowing on ’em. But at least we found the reason.

I found her eyeing the Twigjack warily on the way out. (Well, it’s three feet tall, you can’t miss it) “This is just…weird,” she told me cheerfully. I made helpless yeah-I-know gestures. “Were you on acid when you painted that?” (I have never mentioned drugs to my landlady, who is a pleasant woman in her late fifties and up until about five minutes ago would not have believed that she knew what acid was) I protested my sobriety. Unfortunately, I have a heavy metal cover commission of screaming trees and ravens on the computer at the moment, and after she said “Ah. THAT kind of art,” and laughed, I had no choice but to dig out a print of “Lizard Love” to prove that I also do cute as well as creepy.

The Cardinals (sold, but still hanging in the house until the buyer gets a place off the base) also came under scrutiny. Her only concern was that it was anti-religious. And so, I had to explain, once again, that no, it was just cardinals and I hadn’t thought anything except “Hee! Cardinals! But like cardinals!” We gazed at it for a moment, and agreed that probably they wouldn’t look nearly so ominous if they weren’t next to the Twigjack.

While she was very cheerful about the whole thing, and obviously doesn’t care what kind of art I’m doing, since A) I helped mop up, and B) James bakes cookies now and again, and most importantly C) we pay the rent on time and are very quiet neighbors, I occasionally get these flashes of myself as an elderly, wispy-haired nonogenarian in a nursing home trying to explain in a cracked, raspy voice that no, they’re just cardinals, I wasn’t really thinking anything…

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