Cleaned up and weeded the bed growing pumpkins. I did my best to work around the vines, leaving a few vines which were still flowering. Perhaps we will get a late pumpkin or two and if not at least the bees will be happy.
After weeding, I mulched with mango mulch. I seeded fava beans, my favorite cover crop, and some root veggies I like: turnips and beets.
Let’s hope the little bed grows great beans, beets and turnips!
Coliver Intimacy Drabble--Public Displays of Affection
This one was kinda hard to do, since I don’t see them as the PDA type, but I did my best. Enjoy!
“What do you think of these? I’ve always wanted to cook
something with beets,” Oliver said, gazing at a case of vegetables.
“I’ve never liked beets, but you can make anything taste
amazing,” Connor praised, hissing when a cool breeze brushed over them.
The two were out, visiting the farmer’s market that set up
shop in Rittenhouse Square. It was a bright, clear autumn afternoon, the red
and gold and orange of the leaves popping against the blue sky. Along with the
bright colors of fall, came the first chills of the season. Oliver, excited for
the weather, wore a heavy green sweater and his favorite grey scarf with a
skull cap that covered his ears. Connor, choosing fashion over form, wore a
leather jacket, that proved to be quite thin, and was now paying the price.
“I told you that you should have put on a sweater before we
left,” Oliver teased, paying for the vegetables and walking away from the
table, searching for another.
“I didn’t know it was going to be negative 8 degrees,”
Connor hissed, wrapping his arms around himself to keep warm.
Oliver turned to face him, rolling his eyes with a smirk. “It’s
43 degrees out, drama queen. I thought you grew up in Michigan?” he asked as
“Yeah, and I didn’t like the cold there, either.”
Taking in Connor’s shivering state, Oliver smiled
sympathetically at him and grabbed his hand, moving him and Oliver out of the
walking traffic. Oliver tugged Connor close to his body.
“Here,” Oliver whispered, reaching up and unraveling the
scarf from his neck, wrapping it around the other man.
“Ollie, this is your scarf; you should wear it,” Connor
tried to protest.
“You need it more than I do right now, it’s fine,” he said
softly, finishing his wrapping. Oliver’s heart fluttered when he saw Connor
visibly relax with the added warmth.
Connor sighed and nodded, “much better, thank you,” he
breathed. He leaned in and made their lips meet in a gentle kiss.
“We’re almost done here, there’s just a few more stands I
want to check out,” Oliver assured while they walked through the park with
“We can stay here a little longer, if you want. Now that I’m
not freezing to death,” replied Connor.
“Yeah, it’s still a nice day out; this is also a great
distraction from that constitutional law paper I should write,”
Oliver chuckled, “in that case we’ll stay here all day,
Connor moved his hand to hold Oliver’s weaving their fingers
that moment of realisation when, after having lived on your own for nearly a decade, you remember that you can have as many roasted parsnips as you want. like, it’s not because your mom always put two or three parsnips with a buttload of carrots and potatoes that you, an adult, cannot skip the carrots and potatoes, just roast a bunch of parsnips, add some beets, and eat that and just that for dinner.
not one reason why you can’t do that! and you ask yourself why you never did that before, when you know you adore parsnips.
my life sound really boring but really, this thought just made my whole week better.
“The nearest store is 18 miles away, but we don’t buy a lot of groceries. We put up hay to feed our cattle. We hunt. We butcher rabbits. We raise chickens and get fresh eggs. At every meal, we eat something from the greenhouse: potatoes, spinach, chard, beets, beans, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries… It might be six weeks before I go to town. If I need to see the doctor, it’s about 140 miles round trip.Cowboys are still the symbol of the American West. We’re famous, but it’s damn hard to make a living raising cattle. We’re outside from daylight until dark. Drought or an early frost can knock out a year of work. Then there’s the cost of utilities, equipment, cattle meds, labor, and transport, plus the interest rates on bank loans. Some ranchers raise too many cattle, trying to stay afloat. They end up overgrazing pastures, and that doesn’t help anybody.See that tractor? It’s been sitting in that spot for 19 years. It belongs to Dick Moon. He left and went to Montana. That other one belongs to Segulia. And that combine was Westwood’s. Those vehicles over there belong to Jones. That’s what? One, two, three, four, five, six vehicles. They left them and haven’t come back to get them. Between the weather and the economy, most ranchers have moved away.”
I was in the eighth grade, I guess, that I first met Charley: he and his mom had moved from Springhill, just a town over, to Sarepta, to live in his stepfather’s house. His two stepbrothers, Adam and Josh, were already in school there, so he already had an in when he arrived.
He wasn’t too hard to spot: at six three or so and around three hundred pounds, he was easily the biggest guy in school, in any grade, and when you’re a big guy like that, people just automatically expect you to fall into the role of Crazy Party Animal, and Charley was all too happy to oblige: I remember him doing crazy things like slapping himself in the face until he was beet-red while everyone watched him and laughed. Who the hell is this guy, I thought to myself.
It wasn’t long, though, before he worked his way into our little group. We didn’t go to a school that was big enough to have a bunch of social cliques: economically, nearly everyone was equal, so the differences between the groups was basically one of style. There were the kids who liked the top-ten pop-type music and Dawson’s Creek and shit like that, and there were the kids who were straight-up rednecks, and then there were the handful of kids I hung out with, who were just kind of smartasses who liked joking around a lot. Like I said, there weren’t huge differences between us, really: anyone could intermingle with anyone else. But Charley seemed more than welcome in any group–not a guest, but an actual member.
People liked him, and he loved being the center of attention: the problem with that is he didn’t care if it was good or bad attention: hey look at Swain, he’s gonna eat six cheeseburgers! hey, look at Charley, he can chug a six pack of soda in two minutes! he’s gonna put on somebody’s jacket and do the Chris Farley “Fat Guy In A Little Coat” dance!
I really don’t know exactly how the two of us became friends–I was mostly a good student, and responsible kid, and liked reading and solitude, and Charley was none of those things, and perhaps the most emotionally needy person I’ve ever met: he hated being alone. I’d get home from school around four o'clock, and he’d call an hour later, wanting to know if I wanted to come over and hang out.
What we did mostly was drive around. His grandparents bought him a new Toyota Tacoma when he got his driver’s license: this was perhaps not the best choice of vehicle for a guy who’s nearly six and a half feet tall and who at one point was pushing four hundred pounds, but he made it work. The fact that he and I were able to squeeze ourselves into the cab–along, at various times, with up to three other people–and the fucking thing would even move is a testament to the fine work of the engineers at Toyota. We tore up all the backroads in Webster Parish, and when the Tacoma was totalled in an accident, he switched to a huge silver Ram Charger, and we continued to tear those roads up. I remember us driving it out to Bodcau Dam one night at two or three in the morning: there was a section of the road where, after a long flat stretch, there was a sudden drop of maybe four feet: if you didn’t know the drop was coming, and you were driving too fast, it was more than possible you’d sail off the sudden drop, which I’d guess was probably a 45 degree angle or so. We took this giant vehicle out there and ramped it off this drop: I know we caught air a couple of times, and came down so hard once we saw sparks shoot from under the bottom of the truck, at which point we decided to stop.
Friday and Saturday nights the kids in Sarepta would all load up in cars and drive to Springhill and hang out in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot: a lot of times there would be fights, or people just acting stupid. You’d roll up to one group or another, and you’d get out and bullshit for fifteen or twenty minutes, then you’d “make the loop” and make the short drive around the two main streets, and come back, either to the group you’d left or another. Afterward, it was a lot of long, late nights, driving through the darkness, listening to music.
After high school, there was kind of a long period we didn’t see each other so much: I’d moved to Texas to go to school, and he, initially, was just sort of spinning his wheels at home, working construction for his stepfather. At some point I suppose he thought it made sense to join the Army. This seemed, for someone like him, possibly the least-disciplined person I’ve known in my life, to be a bad idea. To me, at least. I couldn’t imagine how’d he manage to make it. He did, though: he spent nearly six months in basic training, which is about four and a half months longer than most people, because he kept failing his running test. He could do everything else, but he consistently failed the run, and he could have dropped out of training, left with no permanent damage to his record, and been fine. But he wanted to do it, and eventually, he made it. I always admired him for sticking with it.
They sent him to Iraq, of course. Before he left, and against the advice of literally everyone who knew him, he married this girl he’d dated off and on since high school. She was a genuinely terrible person, and treated him very badly, ran all over him, really, but he was so desperate for someone to love him, he put up with it. She cheated on him while he was gone, and spent most of his money, and when he got back, he forgave her, and they tried to keep things together. He would call me from Ft. Hood, where they were living, and be almost whispering into the phone, like a hostage who’s suddenly able to get word out. At some point, I would hear her voice in the background, and he would mutter I gotta go and hang up.
He went back to Iraq, and the whole cycle of infidelity and profligacy repeated itself, and this time it was finally–thankfully–over. He was shortly out of the Army, and moved back home and tried to make a go of it in college, but as I said earlier, he was a poor student and I think just disinterested, and eventually went to work at the airport.
It must have been around 2008 when I began to notice how his health was fading: he would have to stop and take deep, heaving breaths while walking down stairs. Things started going south fairly quickly: it was discovered he had an enlarged heart, and congestive heart failure. The heart failure led to him retaining almost unimaginable amounts of water; he’d call from the hospital and tell me he’d gained 70 or 80 pounds in a month, then would lose it all in two or three days after a round of diuretics. At his worst point he’d ballooned to nearly 600 pounds, nearly half of it from fluid retention. He became diabetic. Perhaps six weeks ago it was determined his liver was cirrhotic. His problems were manifold.
He managed to get on disability, and that, along with a check from the Army, put him in a pretty sweet position financially, something which didn’t sit too well with most of us who had to work for a living. The issue wasn’t that he was sick, but rather that much of his problems were his own fault: it can’t be proven, but I suspect his heart problems were the result of a handful of years of him using Yellowjackets, the over the counter trucker speed they used to sell: they were spiked with ephedrine, and he took them two or three at a time, two or three times a day. I remember taking two, once, and I thought I was going to die, but he seemed unaffected by them. He continued to smoke heaviy, even though when he’d wake up in the morning, it was usually followed by nearly fifteen minutes of ragged coughing and gagging, hacking and spitting. He didn’t let his diabetes stop him from chugging soda and eating candy, and his legs began to swell and turn purple. His feet were a nightmare: cracked and broken and bloody, typically wrapped in blood-spattered gauze. He had little or no feeling in them, and could–or would–only walk short distances. He stopped leaving his house, other than to eat and buy groceries.
A depressing cycle began to establish itself: he would be in relatively good health and spirits, then slowly decline, and wind up in the hospital for five or six weeks at a time, then come home for two months, only to wind back up in the hospital for another six weeks. I’d guess that in the last five years, close to half of that he spent in various hospitals and clinics and even a couple of nursing homes. It became so regular that you were no longer concerned when he’d call you to let you know he was in the VA again, his voice almost impossible to understand because he would be wearing his CPAP mask and trying to talk to at the same time. It just became a drag, and annoying: he would call and ask you to bring him fast food, or soda, or cigarettes.
Fuck you, you’d think to yourself. You put yourself here with that shit. Get up and walk to the store and get your own fucking cigarettes.
He got really bad recently: he very nearly died. Called me on the phone and told me he loved me, the whole bit. But, as usual, he rallied: he got better, and they sent him to another nursing home way out in Bossier to do physical therapy and recover. And he was recovering: everyone seemed to think so. His weight was under control. He was talking positively. He told a friend of ours he expected to be home in a month
You’re bound to have figured this out by now, right?
He died last night. About twenty hours ago or so. It still hasn’t really hit me: I’ve been expecting him to die any minute for nearly a decade now, so the fact that it’s actually happened this time is still slowly settling down on me. I’m still waiting to get real rattled by it.
It’d been almost two years since you’d last seen him. Finally, you were back in Tokyo and you were seeing Midorima. Growing up, you two had been attached at the hip, your parents had joked about you two completing each other; your bubbly personality being the counterpart to his shy, reserved one.
Despite being apart for two years, you’d kept near constant contact. Last week you had mentioned your long-awaited homecoming, his response had been less than thrilling, but you guessed that’s just the way he is, the way he’d always been.
Now, you stood in the gates of Shutoku, eagerly waiting. “Shintaro!” You saw him and ran. Your first instinct was to hug, but when you pulled away his face was beet-red.
“Y/n.” He said cordially. “It’s good to see you.” You placed a hand on your hip, dissatisfied with his greeting. Had something happened? You paid it no mind. “Shall we?” He showed you around the school, which you would be attending starting next week. You couldn’t quite place the tension between you two, but it was discomforting to feel like there was something off between you and your best friend.
You let it be for now, hoping that spending more time together would ease whatever was wrong. It almost seemed like he no longer felt comfortable around you. Expressing these concerns to your friends, they told you that you were overthinking things, as usual. But as the week went on and the uneasiness grew, you could no longer ignore it.
Friday, you worked up the nerve to confront him, catching him as he was leaving his final class of the day. “Shintaro.” You saw him tense at the sound of your voice and an unsettling pit formed in your stomach. “Can we talk?”
“I have to get to practice.” He said dismissively, turning to leave.
“What’s going on?” You didn’t want it to come out in such a demanding way, but you were fed up with this lack of communication. If something was wrong, why couldn’t he just tell you? “Why won’t you talk to me?” He turned to you, but wouldn’t answer.
“I have to get to practice.” He repeated and walked away.
From what you’d seen this week, he had a new best friend, not that you were jealous or anything. Okay, so maybe you were a little jealous…very jealous, actually. He seemed like a good guy, bubbly and fun like yourself. Had you been replaced? So many emotions swirled around; you could swear your heart stopped for a moment. Finding a secluded hallway, you took a shaky breath in an attempt to stop the tears from coming. The pain of not feeling good enough, feeling abandoned, rejected, they were all too much. Despite your attempts, the tears flooded your vision. You hated yourself for crying like this, for feeling so vulnerable. You sank to the floor and let out a quiet sob.
“Y/n?” Of course, the last person you wanted to see you like this showed up, as if on cue.
You coughed, trying to mask the sniffles, but you had no doubt that the red puffy eyes and tear streaks gave you away. “Y/n, what’s wrong?”
“Don’t you have practice?” You said bitterly.
“It can wait.” He stepped toward you. He may not be the most emotionally intuitive person, but even he could tell this had something to do with him. “What did you want to talk about?” He sat down next to you, close.
“I doesn’t matter, go talk to your new best friend.” You sniffed.
“Y/n, is this about Takao?”
“No, stupid! This is about you. And you never wanting to be with me anymore. I haven’t seen you for two years and now—”
“Not wanting to be with you? Y/n, all I want is to be with you.”
It came out so suddenly; you were shocked. “What?” You looked up to him.
“I—I like you, y/n. I have for a long time.” He paused, now nervous and blushing. “I was waiting until Oha Asa said it was a good time to tell you.” You laughed, what a dork. “I was worried you wouldn’t like me back.”
Leaning over, you pressed your lips to his, surprisingly, he kissed you back, slowly and sweetly. “Of course I like you back.” He put his arm around your waist and pulled you into his lap. With one hand around your waist and the other tangled in your hair he deepened the kiss.
“Shin-chan! The coach is—” Takao rounded the corner. “Oh.” Midorima, now flustered, shot a nasty glare to his friend. “I’ll cover for you.” Takao winked and left you two alone.
You giggled. “You should get to practice.” Kissing him once more, you let him go. “Call when you’re done.”
Ahhh!! Thank you so much for this, Nini!! I’ll tell you most of the things in our chat, but I loved this so much!! AHHH!! This made my dayyy!! Thank you so much dearr!! 🌸