Lawn Mower Man

10 September 2018 841 Views

If you met Robert, you might think he was a dull guy. Maybe you would think that, but Robert wouldn’t. He thought (and still thinks) that what a person needs in life is order.

When Robert was a child, his mother used to brag to her friends about her son’s maniacal obsession with putting his toys in order. She used to say that after he’d organized his toys, there was never anything left for her to tidy up. His toys would stand on his shelves, facing forward, in ascending order of size, from the littlest one on the left up to the biggest one on the right.

In school, Robert was similarly orderly. He didn’t have a favorite subject - or a least favorite. Unlike other kids, he wouldn’t wait until the night before an assignment was due to do it; he did it the day it was assigned. On a Monday, he would do everything he’d been assigned that Monday. On a Tuesday, he would do everything he’d been assigned that Tuesday. With neither joy nor frustration, he started his homework and he finished his homework. As to the grades he got for these assignments, they weren’t the best, but they weren’t the worst either.

After he graduated, he started working for a construction company. It was a good decision for somebody with a mindset like his. When he watched a house slowly emerge, piece-by-piece, from a previously empty spot of land, he saw the forces of order arising out of chaos. To him, a house meant order. On the other hand, the workers who ran around, shouting and swearing, meant disorder.

A dream gradually took shape in Robert's mind. He realized that he wanted to have a house of his own. And not just that, he specifically wanted a house that would reflect his unique idea of order.

He studied different designs for months. He chose the ideas that would best fit into his grand scheme. And one day, his work was done. He had drawn his dream house exactly the way he wanted it. It had all the doors he wanted, all the windows he wanted, and even some windows inside the house (maybe Robert wasn’t so dull after all). It also had a lawn.

But at this point in time, the house only existed on paper.

Luckily for Robert, the construction company he worked for built small houses. He checked out various plots and picked one. Then he made the calculations and found out what the mortgage would be and what the interest on the loan would be. After several rounds of negotiations and the signing of a stack of documents, he became the proud owner of a houseless piece of land.

It didn’t take too long to build the house, but nobody can give a good estimate how much time Robert spent decorating and redecorating the place. As usual with Robert, he made the decisions slowly and methodically. He was scrupulous in matching the color of a wall with the color of a door, and the color of a door with the color of the floor. Once he even rejected a couch he liked because it was two inches too long.

Then one happy day, the interior of the house finally matched the house he carried around in his head. So he went outside and stood on the front porch.

The outside wasn’t nearly as nice as the inside. He had a tree and a lawn. He studied the tree carefully. It would do.

But the grass…it was terrible. It grew in confusion and went wherever it wanted.

Robert decided that the grass had to be put in order. He would have to buy a lawn mower and cut that awful grass. He went back inside the house, calculated the costs, and realized that, at the earliest, he could buy a lawn mower in a month.

He went into a reverie, imagining the smooth blades of the mower sweeping away disorder left and right. The thought made him smile.

But the grass wasn’t privy to Robert's dreams. It grew. And grew.

Robert held on for a week, but on the eighth day, his patience gave out. He went to completed the application form, and got the money for the lawn mower.

The next day, he returned to his lawn with his new lawn mower and began to cut.

He felt like a real lawn mower man. He had brought order to nature.

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