A girl I dated once gave me a gnome as a gift.
She liked gnomes.
It’s been sometime now since I’ve seen her and I found the gnome tucked away sadly at the bottom of my drawer. I felt bad that this little gnome, orphaned by the spontaneity of an autumn fling, had been dwelling in the little cave of my dresser beneath awol underwear, e-z widers, and gym shorts.
So I decided to strand the bearded gnome beneath a baby tree in a Hannaford’s parking lot, across the Hudson River, about 45 minutes North from my home.
Far enough away so that if the gnome should return to seek revenge I would have ample time to gnome-proof my property.
How? By securing my yard with plastic pink flamingos.
Pink flamingos and gnomes have been in contention ever since the dawn of lawns. Racism in the lawn ornament communities runs deep and is passed down through the generations.
Short vs Tall
Pink vs Beard
Dark Magic vs Dark Magic
Now, I know, I know, I know… a Hannaford parking lot? That’s awful cold. But, I didn’t want to leave him too far from the civilization he unfortunately was stolen into by the hands of my gnome-collecting-ex-girlfriend.
The produce section was nearest the tree I left him at. I figured he could buy parsley and carrots. I believe that’s what gnomes eat. Well, that and bunny rabbits and beetles and lightning bugs. They are like Native Americans in that sense. To them the beetle is their buffalo. They use the entire bug for food and for necessity. They eat the beetle and they use the beetle as lanterns.
No one saw me leave him there as his plastic bearded smile turned to a lost frown in the shadow of the sapling standing infant-clumsy in the heavy parking lot sun.
I backed my car up, watching him watching me leave, and didn’t look back. It felt wrong, but it had to be done. It didn’t feel right keeping him. I had no connection to the gnome. Not like I do with my Little Foot stuffed animal. Or my Ghostbuster figurines. Not my Alf stuffed animal though. Fuck that Alf. Creepiest thing I was ever given. And my grandparents, knowing that I adored Alf in 1990, spent days scouring every the mall in the tri-state area hunting for that Alf. To this day, Alf remains in the closet my parents hid him in since I was 5 years old. Even the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is chilling out with the rest of the stuffed animal crew. Not stuffed animal Alf though. It was the creepiest thing for a 5 year old. He was long haired, motionless, and stared longingly at my cats. Sorry Grandma. Sorry Poppop. I love you but that Alf might have done something to my child psyche.
I marooned the gnome two weeks ago last Tuesday.
Gnomes are good in the wilderness, where they can find other gnomes, and make gnome families and live long fruitful gnome lives.
But then tonight happened.
I was friended by a gnome on Facebook that looks eerily like the gnome I left to fend for himself that fateful day.
I don’t know how.
And he’s really gone off the deep end.
He seems to have gnomed his way into the many vices of mankind. He is gambling. Taking pictures of himself on macbook photobooth. He is with all these different human women. Kissing redheads. Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Staring ominously from rooftops down onto cityscapes. And playing with guns.
It also looks like he is back near my town, as he is seen in one of his previous profile pictures standing atop a local historical landmark.
His message is clear.
I should have never left him there. I should’ve made sure he found his way back into the arms of his fellow gnomes instead of trusting that his gnome instincts would kick in.
Maybe gnomes are like baby birds? Maybe once they are touched by a human they won’t be accepted by their own kind, their own gnome-mother?
I don’t know. I’m worried that I’ll find him at my windowsill like an evil apple pie cooling in a breeze. I’m concerned I’ll find him hidden in the tall grass of my yard or planking on a limb on a tree near my mailbox or even delivering my mail.
I’ll be devastated if he slaughters all my flamingoes.
Or maybe this just happens to be a gnome I knew from middle school who is only now finding me on Facebook and looking to re-connect?
Or maybe all gnomes look alike? Is that racist? I don’t hate gnomes, I think I can tell the difference between one gnome and the next. I’m tolerant. I know gnomes. I can tell a gnome from an elf from a fairy from a goon to a goblin.
But this gnome, the gnome this girl and I abandoned, this gnome who I regretfully left to struggle in the damp mysteries of my un-used dresser, he wears the smuggest bearded smile that I’ve ever seen.
No one but him can be so silent yet still so snarky, with his mini face that just says, “I can walk through trees, I’m a fucking gnome”
I’m almost certain it’s him.
It was also his birthday yesterday, August 16th, according to Facebook.
That means he spent his last birthday in a drawer.
I’ll wait and see what his next status update is to determine my next move.
Is reconciliation possible? I doubt it.
If you know a gnome, put in a good word for me.
I can’t afford to have gnomes assembling against me.
They are the harbingers of alchemy and kings of the underground.
I know I should have tied him to a bowling ball and sunk him in the river.
I hope I’m mistaken, and this is another gnome, gambling and drinking and screwing and shooting his life away.
If you care, donate your flamingoes. No lawn jockeys though.
I can’t use lawn jockeys. That’s actually racist.