Hiking boots because I was digging, bathing suit because it was too darn hot to be digging. The oversized cheesecloth shirt and wide-brimmed witch’s hat offered abundant protection from the tropical sun, but lacked sartorial elegance.
I’m not a gardener. Only a woman who values my privacy.
I spat on the roots of each cane palm as I planted them into their new homes, muttering my own version of a growth spell as I back-filled the holes.
The voice from above startled me, and I dropped my spade.
‘I built here because I see all down the valley.’
I shuddered and pulled tight my flapping shirt and squinted up at the leather-faced neighbour leaning over the fence. He was on a stepladder, leering at me, my fleshy mountains, creased valleys, and rivers of glistening sweat.
‘I hope you’re not planning to plant anything that’ll block my view.’ His eyes roved as he licked his cracked lips.
The trench wasn’t easy to dig, not in the dry season, not in iron-hard red dirt. Not sure whether I read it, or saw it on the telly, but I had heard blood and bone made excellent fertiliser. The stuff in plastic bags from the hardware store always stank to high heaven, but in a skin sack, it wasn’t too bad.
The wrinkly pervert doesn’t have a view now, but my cane palms are flourishing beyond my wildest expectations.
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