The green, green grass of home
“It’s Florida. It’s wet and there’s no winter. I never dreamed in a million years that grass would be hard to grow here.” — Chris Hamilton
I know, it’s not cool to quote yourself in a blog, but we from the north hold these truths to be self-evident. That all grass is not created equal. That grass is a stalk, not a vine. That it grows vertically and not horizontally. And that it doesn’t require eight billion inches of water to survive each year.
They call it St. Augustinegrass because if they didn’t tell you it was grass in the title, you’d spray it with Roundup and replace it with a lawn.
Little things like this a gold to standup comedians, who get rich pointing out things you knew but never thought about. And they add depth to your writing.
Many of the people who move to Florida grew up in a place that has actual grass. They walked barefoot in it. They laid in it and stared up at the clouds, or held hands with their teenage sweetheart and stared up at the clouds on a perfect summer night–heat lightning flashing in the distance, and fire flies flashing close enough to touch.
Nostalgia is often about small things. And a nostalgic character who recounts a memory like that, or rants about the fricking money they pay ChemLawn to make sure the crabgrass doesn’t die, could be showing a deeper attachment to youth–to a simpler time when the biggest concern was keeping their stupid, pain-in-the-neck little brother from finding them holding hands on the lawn in the back yard.
Or maybe they’re really annoyed that they have to pay someone good money every six weeks to make sure the crap they call grass down here doesn’t die. It’s sort of like spending money to make sure the mosquitoes live.