Just weed it

There were weeds in the garden. Rocks in the trailer. The weeds were to be pulled out. The rocks were to be put in.
Ooookay. Got it. No problem.
I pulled on my psychedelic pink and green gardening gloves (because they're cute), tied a purple do-rag around my head, and went to work. This was going to be great. Work. Yes. Just what I wanted. Something physical. No brain power needed. Just weed pulling and rock putting.
The sun came out. The clouds rolled in. The rain came down. The sun came out. The clouds rolled in. The rain came down. All day long with this cycle. I kept waiting for nature to throw in a couple pieces of hail just for variety.
But that was okay with me. Everything was okay with me. This was good work. Honest work. Sweaty work, I thought, wiping my face on my sleeve.
I pulled those weeds like a pro, like a woman on a mission, like a pioneer seeking undiscovered territory that was also weedless. And oddly, I didn't really notice the stinging on my arms. Not really. Not at first.
Then it grew. And started to burn. And when I glanced down at these anti-weeding machines of mine, I started to see the first signs of blood. Hello? Those wretched plants - not the weeds, mind you, the blasted plants - were like little razors disguised as innocent grass. Stupid plants.
I refused to succumb. Refused. No way was I going to get fired from a one-week assignment to clean out some flower beds. NO WAY.
I moved down the line, removing the nasty little weeds while being poked, stabbed, and assaulted by these docile looking kermity-colored creatures.
What were they?
Who knows. Not petunias, I can tell you. Certainly nothing earthly, if you ask me. Some hybrid alien plant form sent here to gather blood and skin samples from temporary, ignorant gardeners like myself.
No matter. I fought them anyway, determined to do as much damage as possible before the mother ship arrived.
And when it came time to move the rock, baby, I moved that rock. I moved it until it couldn't move anymore. (Or maybe that was me.) I moved it like no body's moved rock. I moved it and it stayed moved.
Then I went home, showered, and collapsed.
Day two.
Same assignment, bigger area, more plants, more rocks.
Here's the odd thing. The really odd thing. Despite the cuts. Despite the sweat. Despite the heat. Despite the blood loss and eventual skin grafts I'll be needing. Despite the overwhelming urge to shove my face in a river and drink until it runs dry. Despite the grotesqueness of me when the day was over. I had a blast. I mean, I really had a blast.
I was outside. I was working. I was breathing in oxygen, breathing out old deadlines, working with and sometimes against nature, and finding joy in the simplicity of it all.
Dang it. It was DIFFERENT! And I couldn't get enough of it. I even broke into spontaneous laughter or sometimes song, exchanged some entertaining jokes with myself, and burned my nose. People, it doesn't get much better than that.
What does one do in their third week of unemployment? Whatever one must. Might as well enjoy it.
Tara Lynn Thompson