Monday, August 29, 2016

The Lines in the Lawn

One morning, coffee cup in hand, a few days ago, I went out to sit in my white plastic mold stained lawn chair, and was startled to hear hissing sounds.

A cat fight?  In dead Jack's yard?

I charge around the corner, in my night clothes still and almost run into a handsome young man with an orange vest, carrying a device that looked like a clam digger on steroids.  It hissed out red paint onto dead Jack's lawn, in short stripes.

I almost spilled what was left of my coffee.  Gosh he was handsome.

"Oh hi," he says, "I hope I didn't startle you."  The power company really should warn people before they do work but they don't.

"You're the power company?"

"Well, no.  I mark out lines for the power company.   The underground line is failing somewhere and they're going to replace it."  "They" meant the power company.  For kicks he found where my line cut off from the main one, angled across my driveway up front, then ran along the very edge of the house to the meter.  Nice to know where that is.  Wouldn't want to stick a shovel into that.

"Don't worry," he said, "it runs through PVC pipe."

I already knew something was wrong.  The power blips out frequently here,   then comes back on.  I don't even bother to reset the electric clock anymore.  I have battery powered ones, so I don't have to do that.  It's been an issue since I moved in here.

"Are they going to dig up his lawn?"  He didn't know.  He didn't know if they'd replace the entire line or could do it without digging everything up or just repair the damaged part somehow.  What if the damaged area is under the street, I thought.  "I just mark lines," he offered.

The line runs across the street then right angles about five feet into the lawn of the house across from me, runs down two lawns under another driveway to the big metal power box.

It runs down the side of dead Jack's house to the yard of the house behind me, and on to the next street.  He had marked the entire length of the line.  He said they don't know where the problem is.  He said he didn't know when they'd come, and they don't warn people either, he said, and likely when they arrive the power will be cut.  Nice.

Over the next two days neighbors marveled over the blue and red lines streaked down dead Jack's lawn and across the street and on two other yards.  THEY had not talked to the handsome young man in the orange vest.  But I had.  I had information!  I became briefly in demand!
Underground power line position marked in red down my deceased neighbors lawn.

And down the side of his place.

First it was the little girl who sporadically lives with her dad across the street.  She wanted to know. She was sent over by her father, who will not speak to me, since his girlfriend moved out.  Don't ask me why.  "Why are these lines painted on our property?" she asked, like I had painted them myself as an act of vandalism.

I thought about making up a fantastic  tale.

I didn't.

Then it was two other neighbors wandering around Jack's house debating the lines and what they meant.   I told them what I knew.

Someone interested in buying the house began to debate the meaning of the lines, so I told them what I knew, feeling quite helpful.  "Will the yard be dug up," he asked.  "I just don't know," I said, feeling the glorious sting of power in my veins.

None of us know what the lines really mean, what the power company really will do or not do or when.

The young man also marked the gas lines (so they don't explode the neighborhood), and the storm drain line that runs very close to the electric line.

We're all waiting now, to see what goes on.

On cue, this  morning, the power blinked off, then back on.  I won't know how to live if power is continuous here.


  1. Power interruptions as you experience would cause havoc to desk top computers. At least some money is being invested in improvements. Areas like where you live, here would probably not have underground power, so you are a step ahead there.

  2. Power companies the world over are poor communicators it seems. I hope your power can be fixed for once and for all though.

  3. You left an important part out. What kind of night clothes were you wearing to talk to this handsome young man?

    1. I'm sorry you asked. Um, maybe two decades old sweat pants and a Tshirt. I'm sure he was thinking "OMG" to himself, but he kept a lid on any expression of horror. Or maybe I missed it because he was SOOOOO good looking.

  4. He can paint my yard any time! ~grin~ Hope things work out well for you, my dear.

  5. Everyone loves a mystery... I guess eventually the answer will reveal itself to all... but ... mysterious lines painted.... a handsome guy.... inquisitive neighbors.... and even your sexy nightwear ;-) it all adds up to a best seller!

    1. Absolutely. And the handsome guy may not even work for the power company at all. Instead, he may be marking out future grave sites where he buries the people he kills. One by one. At vacant houses, then he plants beautiful flower beds over them

    2. I almost spit out my mouthful of water. We have darker senses of humor around here.