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Lawnmower man

I like twisting the cap off the gasoline can and the cap off the tractor's tank-then feeling the cool gas flow through the fill hose. I like the smell of gas on my hands, the smell of gas fumes mixed with dirt and grass. I'm Lord of my lawn. Lord with hands that smell like work.

I like twisting the tiny cap off the air stem, setting it on the gravel driveway, adding air, finding the tiny air stem cap on the gravel driveway, and twisting it back on. Repeating three times. Lifting the faded red metal hood, turning the top and pulling the dipstick out, wiping it with my forefinger and thumb, returning it, pulling it out and checking it, then securing it on the filler tube. Maintenance. My mower is well kept.

I like knowing the proper amount of choke and fuel needed to start the mower, and being able to toggle the gas and choke levers, and depress the clutch, and turn the key, all in one motion. I like the sound of the first revolutions of the motor, a very hearty explosion, a snap, pop, and bang, not altogether, but like a drummer's flam. The sound is mixed with dry grass, dusty grease, dirt and dry rubber, and smells like life itself. It smells fantastic. America the beautiful. Addicted to oil.

I like mowing.

I like dad's old style tractor, not new Zero-Turn models. Steering wheel in my hands, (reminds me of dad) turning; the bow of the tractor, my Peterbuilt. I wheel that son of a gun, left, straight, right, back, forth, straight, while the heat from the 8 horse power plant increases the rate I sweat in the summer, but keeps me warm in the fall.

I like pushing the lever forward to engage the mower blades. I always wonder if this time will be the time something lets go and the blades won't engage when I push the lever forward. But they always do. But if they didn't, I would have to get them fixed, and that would take a day or two, and I wouldn't be able to mow for a day or two, and I like to mow every single day. I'd be very disappointed if for some reason pushing the lever forward didn't engage the mower blades. Very disappointed.

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