So , from time to time , it tears my clothes . It loves to grab pockets on cargo pants . Easy prey for it’s claws . Years ago I changed the claws ; took them off of the stationary fence post and fixed them onto the swinging gate . That helped some . That slowed down the pace of vicious pants attacks . Those claws used to be sticking out permanently into the path of passing pedestrians —- well , me , anyway . Ada never seemed to be attacked . ” Oh , don’t exaggerate ,” she would say , or she’d offer other poo-pooing responses like that . I could sense the fence’s toothy smirk behind my back when she spoke . That smarmy rusting wirey slob .
Why Ada never saw the smirks I don’t know . Why she never had her clothes ripped I don’t know . Well , she never wears cargo pants , but still ! That fence is sneaky . Pretentious , too . Pretending to have some function or other , sitting there all smug and cozy ! What does it do , anyway ? It’s too short to keep anyone or anything out . Our cats hop it like there’s nothing there . My friends step over it like it’s almost not there . Once in awhile someone asks , perplexed , what the purpose of it is .
What is the purpose of it , indeed ? Fashion ? The people who owned the house previous to us must have put it in for a reason . To have something shiney to demarcate the back yard from the driveway ? Some contractor talked them into it so he could make a few extra bucks ? Little low useless chain link fences were all the rage at the time ? What ?
I’d pull it out , but , but …….Ada likes it . What , is it cute , the corroded old chain link thing ? I don’t get it . This is one of those marriage things , like which way the toilet paper should roll , over or under ; but this one is less common . Little useless chain link fence or no little useless chin link fence ? It’s not going to make or break the marriage , but it’s an ongoing unresolved difference issue . I’m not on the fence about this .
Time to mend fences .
It’s sunk in concrete , of course . It would require some considerable effort to extract the impacted old thing . Oh , but wouldn’t it be so nice to be finally done with it ! Even to put in a decent respectable fence if we want to , or an arch , and plant wisteria to climb it . Or grapes . Or roses . Or jasmine . Or anything .
I see that little fence watching silently as I write this . Hunkered down in it’s spot .Beady -eyed . It’s not worried . It’s been around a long time . When you’ve been around a long time you sometimes think you’ll be around forever and ever , smirking , basking in the sunshine , proudly settled into a cozy inertia .
Even skunks aren’t stopped by the fence , by the way . They arrive at night and slip easily under the gate , not slowed in the slightest .
I would wave my fist at the little low rusting purposeless chain link idle thing and say , Ralph Cramden – like , ” One of these days ! ” , but I wouldn’t give that pretentious good-for-nothing little low fence the satisfaction of witnessing my frustration .
Ada might look at me , too , if I got too demonstrative about the fence , might look from me to the fence , and back to me , pondering , and maybe even say out loud , ” Yeah , and what about you ? ”
And then all I could say in my defense is at least I don’t tear pockets off cargo pants out of pure spite . At least I don’t do that .