My first post back after my long hiatus was going to be about my finding a group of cyclists I can hang with – that would be the Sun City Cycle Club, i.e. the octogenarian set. Then I was going to write about my most amazing awesome time in Portland, OR with my beloved Cancerchicks, Kim and Melinda, and we were also joined by Katie and Debbie for part of the time as well. I couldn’t love these girls more than if they were actual sisters.
Then there might have been something about the magnificence of The Kone, then more training tips for the little people, and so on.
But all of that came to a screeching halt today, when I went out to my garden in Skokie for the first time since getting back from Oregon. The last time I was out there was last Tuesday, and at the time there were so many tomatoes, billions of them, that I pleaded with my Tomatoettes to go there and pick some so that they wouldn’t rot on the vine. Even though I was going out there every 2-3 days to pick them, there were still billions. So many that I gave baskets to friends, my doctors, charity auctions, neighbors, my mom and all her friends, the folks at Starbucks, and so on.
We’re talking a lot of tomatoes.
The pattypans, I have to say, were an underperforming lot, but there were a couple of those, and a few zucchini too. But the tomatoes, the glorious tomatoes! Ah, they were beautiful. Literally hundreds of pounds of them, waiting to be picked.
And so they were. But not by me.
Because I went out there today, and as I was walking closer I thought hmm, how odd that I don’t see millions of tomatoes as I usually do. Then I got to the plot, and saw….nothing. Not a single fucking tomato. No ripe ones….no green ones even. The plants were completely stripped bare, and it looked like the lazy POS scum-sucking douchebags just clipped the vines, as I guess that was easier than picking them individually.
I wandered up and down every row, in shock. Noticed that the zucchini and pattypan plants were trampled, and of course, no squash. But the tomatoes! I should have been picking tomatoes for the next 2 months if the weather had cooperated, but now? Nothing. There’s nothing. It’s all gone.
While I usually don’t see anyone when I go there, today there were a couple of women from the neighboring plots – one of them was sweet and offered me some of her tomatoes, and the other almost got her head cleaved open by a shovel wielded by yours truly. Because quite frankly, when you’re totally devastated like that, the following platitudes aren’t helpful:
- “That’s the risk of a community garden”
- “Gosh, I’ve already picked so many this year, I don’t know what to do with them any more!”
- “I just love gardening, it’s a fun hobby for me” – after I mentioned how much hard work and time and money I had put into the garden
Because yes, the risk of a community garden is that some lazy-asses come and take stuff, but we’re talking taking a few things, not an entire garden plot of stuff. And yes, I’ve picked a lot already, but I should have been able to pick a hell of a lot more. And yes, I too love gardening, but I also like enjoying the fruits of my labor, dammit. You know, after spending months growing plants, hundreds of hours planting and weeding, thousands of dollars on supplies.
And now I can’t. And for that, I hate people. I hope you tomato thieves burn in a fiery hell, slowly and painfully. I hope you’re cursed by the money you made selling my tomatoes. I hope your lives become like one long Stephen King novel, where the clanging monkey toy portends all kinds of doom.
As for me, I’m going to go cry now; my sadness at the garden destruction is overwhelming. I put my heart and soul into my garden - it's one of the few bits of happiness in my life. To me happy is The Kone, riding my bike, friends and family, the garden. Because I sure as shit don't have a hell of a lot else going for me. And now the garden.....is gone. And did I also mention that now the IRS is saying that they made a “mistake” in the papers they gave me before, and now I supposedly owe them over twice as much? Yep, happy happy joy joy.
If I ever have anything resembling the slightest bit of luck some day, the shock of it might truly kill me.