The light changed, the truck pulled ahead. Lying on the road underneath the truck and explaining its position was a tumbleweed. Apparently, trucks give birth to tumbleweeds. There's so much about this Midwestern life that I know nothing about.
Josh was excited, because he had never seen a tumbleweed in real life before. I wasn't that excited, because though I couldn't remember specifically when, I did have the vague notion that I've seen one at some point previous.
"We should go get it," he exclaimed.
"And do what with it?" I asked, quite logically.
"Take it home!" he replied.
"Home?" I responded, afraid of where he was going with this.
"To North Carolina!"
I'd like to pause at this point in the story and point out that I consider myself to be a much mellower person than my mother. She is, bless her heart, a bit uptight and excitable. While this trait makes her very detail-oriented and a good person to plan for something, when things go a bit awry, she freaks out. I have a trace of this in me, but either I hide it better or the trait is one of those that becomes more pronounced with age.
However, when Josh started talking about transporting this two foot tall tumbleweed back to North Carolina, I freaked out. I was already picturing driving around with the tumbleweed behind us, explaining its presence to my parents, carrying it through the airport, taking it through security.
"Ma'am, what's this in your bag?"
"It's a tumbleweed, sir."
"Why do you have a tumbleweed, ma'am?"
"It's my boyfriend's. He's going to keep it in his room at the mental asylum. They took away his pet boulder."
Despite every bone in my body, even the tiny ones in my ear, vehemently protesting the idea, I agreed to turn around and get the tumbleweed. I didn't want to be a killjoy, a party pooper, a Salsola spoilsport. Secretly, I was hoping that Josh would come to his senses. Sometimes in love, you have to gamble a bit.
We continued on to the zoo, our new pet in the backseat, already shedding. By the time we got there, the back of the car was covered with the beginnings of little tumbleweeds. I suppose that's part of the design. The tumbleweed is like a sailor sowing his oats at every port, its transient nature is the key to its continuation as a species. And either the sight of the mess already made or the sight of my frown was enough to
He was contented to allow me to take pictures of him standing proudly next to the tumbleweed before releasing it in the wild, sort of, but not at all like the end of White Fang. I would post the pictures for you to see, but I'm afraid that you, seeing my handsome boyfriend, would try to lure him away from me.
"Hey, sugar, I'd let you have a pet tumbleweed..."