I have always enjoyed mowing the lawn. One of the main reasons for this is that whilst mowing the lawn, I can listen to loud music at high volumes. I can also sing along to said loud music at high volumes and be drowned out by the even higher volume of the lawn mower.

Or so I thought. After years of singing my guts out while maintaining the yard, I discovered last summer that my lawnmower world is not as small or alienated as I once perceived it to be. On a sunny, Saturday afternoon last August, I came upstairs to shower and change out of my sweaty clothes. I had just finished mowing the lawn to the soundtrack of Against Me!‘s latest release, New Wave. As I headed into the bedroom, my wife Natalie said, “I could hear you.”

“Hear me what?”

“Singing.”

Confused, I replied, “over the lawnmover?”

“Loud. Even upstairs with all the doors and windows closed.”

Suddenly my little lawn mowing world shrunk into a diorama on display for the entire neighborhood to see. My soul was laid bare for all of my neighbors to hear, and I had been quite unaware of it. Every Saturday, my yard had been a sanctuary for me and my loud singing. Little did I know that it was a stage and that there was an audience who was hearing every note whether they liked it or not.

Lawn mowing has never been the same since. Sure I sing along from time to time, but the days of belting it out with reckless abandon are over and gone. Sometimes, when I’m alone in the garage with the lawn mower, I’ll look over and say, “It was a good run kid.”

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