Outside. Near a tree in the lawn. Bruce stands, in thought, with a pitchfork. Tammy enters, speaking.
TAMMY: You got a truck load of mulch, I see. I should say, I smell.
BRUCE: Yeah, smells like mulch.
TAMMY: I love that smell.
BRUCE: Smells like work.
TAMMY: Yeah, outside work. I love that feeling.
BRUCE: When it’s done, you mean.
TAMMY: Yeah, but doing it, too. The sweat of it all. The getting your hands dirty and doing some actually work that you can look back on, when it’s done, and see what you’ve done, and stand there tired and yet happy and sweaty and hot and just feel good.
BRUCE: I love you.
TAMMY: Don’t say that.
BRUCE: It’s true.
TAMMY: I know. But.
TAMMY: I shouldn’t tell you what to say.
BRUCE: It’s OK.
TAMMY: I love you, too.
BRUCE: Don’t say that.
TAMMY: It’s also true.
BRUCE: You know this mulch is twice shredded. Double shredded. It was trees. Tree bark. This is true. True double shredded hardwood bark mulch. Not long ago it was alive and tall and sturdy and all that stuff that seems like it is never going away.
TAMMY: And then you spread it out and something new grows (laughs).
BRUCE: (sort of laughs) I wasn’t trying to be clever.
TAMMY: I know.
BRUCE: But it’s true.
TAMMY: Can I help you spread it?
BRUCE: You sure?
BRUCE: Well, OK, then.
Bruce hands Tammy the pitchfork.
BRUCE: Get ready to sweat.
this is how it went down our last moment i waved to her she was mowing the lawn to get her attention i waved she saw me she smiled she turned the mower toward me lifting the front wheels off the grass i reacted as if she was going to try to mow me down she laughed a little bit because it was kind of funny and because she knew i was trying to be funny and she waved without taking her hand off the controls and continued to turn the mower around i walked to her for a hug for a handshake for something she didn’t see and continued to mow the lawn i walked away and got in my pick-up truck and drove
this is how it went down the moment before our last moment we were standing on opposite sides of the kitchen island and i was telling her about my day at work and how the woman who got the job that I should have gotten a year and half ago still cannot make a public speech she’s horrible she’s embarrassing to our whole department why didn’t I get that job she smiled i leaned back to do an imitation and saw the ceiling fans and thought oh my god those things are filthy and then i said oh my god those things are filthy i never noticed how filthy they were she thought she took it in she took it as an insult she said i got to go mow the lawn and left the room and left the house and left me standing at the island
this is how it went down nine years before our last moment our first moment i had a fun day i had a long day i was hungry i ordered a drink i leaned back in my chair i saw her dancing in the next room among all the other stuff that was going on i saw her dancing and i thought to myself wow i said to myself i need to get me some of that i was thinking about the fun i was thinking about the abandoned i was thinking about the campiness i was thinking about a bumper sticker that i saw on someone’s refrigerator that said dance like no one is watching after i had something to drink after i might have had too much to drink i went over to her she smiled i said hi