If I was going to get square eyes, then I’d already have them, because I spent way too much time looking at screens. But that’s the thing when you’re trying to raise a family full of Arts. That’s short for ‘Artificials’, by the way…it’s a game where you can order the lives of a family of computer-generated people. Most of my friends just stick their Arts in a pool then delete the ladder so they can watch them die, but I take things much more seriously.
I’ve been tending to the lives of my virtual family for six years now, and things are going great. Juniper just got a promotion at her job, so she now oversees all the pest control in Mornington. That is…the virtual Mornington. I’ve been able to name the neighbourhoods, so I’ve basically just turned it into a virtual version of where I live, pest control agents and all. Juniper has a habit of getting stressed, so I’m worried that this much responsibility is going to be too much for her. There’s also the issue of Greg, who lost his job last week. Not only is his wife doing so much better than him, but he has it firmly in his head that he doesn’t want a termite inspection job, because he thinks working with family only leads to disaster. So his emotional state is pretty poor, and the fact that Jordan is failing pretty much everything at school is stressing EVERYONE out.
I’d really like Greg to swallow his pride and take a job doing termite inspections in Mornington, if only for a little while, but I don’t know if I’m able to convince him. At least I was able to afford the talking toilet with my in-game currency. It’s really become a pillar of emotional support for the whole family.
I have some great news to share. As I’ve said before, I’m back living at home with my parents after my wife decided she needed some time apart. The great news isn’t related to that, she still will not return my calls but I am hopeful. We have a wonderful guest staying at the house this week, a friend of my parents by the name of Madden. Wonderful name if I do say so myself. He is from overseas. He pronounces words differently to how I’ve been taught to say them. He does have a strong accent that is hard to understand sometimes but I like it. He puts emphasis on the second syllable a lot of times when he shouldn’t. He is a fascinating guy, and is helping us to organise the garden landscaping for the backyard. I think it’s his way of thanking my parents for giving him a place to stay while he’s in the country. He is quite the artist and has a real eye for landscape garden design. My father was blown away by his sketches of the timber retaining walls, Melbourne North has never seen anything like this. They’re curves in such a unique way, and the paint colours are inspired.
He is a regular green thumb, the guy frequents plant nurseries all the time. He is a great man and I’m happy to report that I am fast becoming best friends with him. I don’t think it’s weird for grown men to get best friends in their later years.
Now that the design is finished, in a few days we’ll be starting the landscape gardening. Melbourne North has been really hot lately so I hope it cools down for planting day. The gardening crew will be here for three days because the project is fairly massive. It’s exciting in a way, to watch as the backyard transforms into something amazing. I’m going to do my best to be helpful during the planting. I don’t know where I would be without the support of my parents.
You have to believe me, I didn’t know what had happened until we left the house. I know you won’t believe me but it really is the truth. As soon as we left I asked Jimmy where you had all gone last night and he told me about the garden and the jacuzzi and it just didn’t seem right. Anyway, obviously if I had known earlier I would have intervened. I was just so distracted by the hostas, the flower arrangements in general were really consuming my attention because I wanted it to be perfect for you. The only thing I was thinking was lillies vs. roses, ornamental trees vs. native shrubs; my mind was completely distracted. It sounds like an excuse but it isn’t, I am just trying to paint the picture of the weekend so you can maybe see how I might have missed what was going on. As Jimmy was telling me about what happened I realised that while you were arguing I was busy watering the hosta blazing saddles on the other side of the marquee. I didn’t hear any of it, the hostas were way over and the irrigation was on because I was trying to get more moisture into the lillies so it was really loud.
Regardless of where I was or more importantly where I wasn’t, I am really sorry for how it all worked out. I should have picked up on it sooner and now it is too late. Please call me and we can talk through all of this. I have some really really beautiful pictures of the plants and flowers that I think you would enjoy and I would love to show you. I will be ordering some more hostas online and some other summer flowering bulbs to go along with the next event and I am going to do everything in my power to make sure you are there. Please don’t let this be the last time we correspond.