Once, someone told me a story about a dude with dreads that had a spider lay eggs in his hair that hatched and little tiny spiders came crawling out of his head and went everywhere. True or not, that has become a fear of mine; something laying eggs in my hair unbeknownst to me until they hatch when I’m in a very public place and everyone sees and runs screaming but not before taking pictures and putting it on the Internet for everyone to see.
Yes, I have done therapy. No, it didn't help.
I’ve been spending the last few days weeding the hillside at the back of the house. This means I’ve been bent over pulling weeds taller than me or crouched down trying to get the pesky suckers that refuse to come out in one go. Not only am I covered in mosquito bites - despite my guaranteed mosquito repellant – but also my head has been brushed with that weed and this bush as I manhandled them out of the ground and down the hill. I shower thoroughly after each garden episode but since that tick that last summer attached itself to my side and wouldn’t come out, I am irrationally bug paranoid. The other night, while sitting in the bar in the front row, I felt a tickle on the side of my head and was sure it was a bug. While nodding my head to the beat, I casually reached up and brushed whatever it was away, panicking all the while that it was a spider and that everyone could see it crawling out of my hair. Thankfully, it was just one of my curls leaning down to say hello, but the freak out that was going on inside my head took forever to calm down.
Flash forward to yesterday. I spent five hours outside spreading mulch. I was hot and sticky and everything hurt. I’m in the shower letting the dirt stream off my muddy knees as I shove my head under the spray. I reach up to rub my hair and I feel something hard and bug like. IN MY HAIR!
My hair has been the bane of my existence. Unlike most mixed-race folks or mixed-hair folks on TV, I can’t decide what I need to do to make it look awesome all the time. I’ve been bald and I’ve been full fro and I’ve been fried dyed and laid to the side but I’ve never been happy with it and likely never will be happy with it. My current hairstyle, read: situation is shaved on the sides and dreadlock-ish twists on the top. Husband likes to call me Criss Cross and get real close as if he’s going to kiss me and ask me if I’m going to “Jump. Jump.” Husband is an ass.
Anyway, I’m in the shower trying to get the sticky day of sweat and dirt off me. Our “master bath” is a tiny pink horror with a tub shower situation, a pedestal sink and a toilet in about five feet of space. Fact: I’ve never been able to master showering without getting soap in my eye so I don’t even try. I keep my eyes closed as I wash my hair and shave my legs etcetera. Every time I do open my eyes, I get soap in my eye and spend the rest of the shower cussing.
So, I’m in the shower with my dreadlock-ish twists soaking wet and covered in shampoo and I find this bug like thing IN MY HAIR! My eyes are closed so I’m just feeling it and it has a hard creepy bug like shell. I have no idea what kind of bug it might be. We have sooooooo many here in Nashville. But, when you find a hard bug like thing in your hair, you have to open your eyes and see what it is.
Notice I said “eyes” here not “eye.” I did not do the smart thing and only open one eye. I opened both eyes, promptly got soap in them and, despite my squinting, couldn’t see what kind of bug I’d pulled out of my dreadlock-ish twists.
The combination of stinging eyes and possible bug infestation put me over the top. I was now in full freak out mode and full freak out mode necessitates screaming and doing a version of the “I have to pee.” dance but with more urgency. But I’m naked, covered in soap AND I can’t see due to shampoo blindness.
What followed could have won me a million dollars on Candid Camera or Americas Funniest Home Videos. I can’t quite remember what order things happened in but at one point, I left the shower by the middle of the shower curtain. My rear end made contact with the sink. I tried to do the splits with one leg in the tub and one leg out and I’m not sure that bruise will ever go away. I gave the neighbors an up close view of my right boob as my left one and face made contact with the wall and my shin said hello to the toilet. Sounds that only dogs could hear came out of my throat. About thirty seconds of pure terror resulted in at least three weeks of bruise and muscle recovery.
When I finally found a towel and wiped enough of the sting out of my eye to look at the bug like thing I had dropped in the bottom of the tub, I was more than a little relieved to find it was just a seed pod. A hard bug like seed pod but a seed pod non the less. That didn’t mean that I didn’t shower, scrub and scour myself clean enough to preform surgery naked. Or that I didn’t wash my hair over and over and over again to make sure it was bug and seed pod free and inspect every inch of my body for possible tick and spider hitchhikers and the like.
Pretty sure when my head was shaved this never happened.
My dreams of late have been particularly vivid. Like movie clear in story, plot and continuity. Last night’s dream was so intense, so passionate I woke up weeping. The short version; a train crashed taking the life of a dear friend, Nina, who had just found the love of her life. In my real life, she is no one I really know. In my real life, she is an actress I saw on a sitcom. But in this dream, we were all close friends, spent time together, watched her fall in love and plan her life with her new love and then get on that train and that was it.
My twisted dream brain then turned to making ladybug houses out of old chimney flues in her memory. I woke up with a plan and a profound sadness for Nina, the woman in my dreams I don’t really know.
After dreams like that, I spend far too much time trying to figure out what my subconscious is trying to tell me. What I’ve missed or might miss in my life, in my relationships. This dream can’t just be telling me that I need to build a ladybug house. The story has to mean more than that but what, I don’t know. I’m sure to be discombobulated until I figure it out. Or until I think I’ve figured it out. In the meantime, stay off trains, my friends. And if you must ride one, please kiss your Nina goodbye passionately. Life is unpredictable and messy and you never know when you’ll spend your day weeping over a ladybug house.
On a possibly related note, we saw a band from Scotland last night called The Dirty Beggars who are currently on a tour of the United States called Born in the Wrong Country Tour. Always random to run into a Scotsman in Nashville but five of them made Husband a happy man. They are a Bluegrass Americana band made up of at least two doctors and a lawyer. I didn’t get what the other two did. As the lead guy told me, they are at a crossroads right now; quit the band and proceed about their lives doctoring and lawyering or chuck it all and do the band thing full time. Their tour seem to be getting good feedback and their credits in the United Kingdom seem impressive but when do you take that leap of faith and follow your dream and when do you stay put and make babies? And with five guys, how do you make that decision without someone grumbling and feeling shafted?
I’m interested to see what they choose to do.
And I’m sure that their choice had nothing to do with Nina and my ladybug houses.
Well, almost sure.
I am a huge fan of bruises. I’m not a huge fan of getting the bruises. I’ve never been a fan of that part, despite the fact that I’m apparently very good at it. I gave myself a doozy this weekend scratching a particularly vicious mosquito bite and another running my wrist into a door handle and two more from dropping a rock on my leg… The getting part isn’t fun but once the damage is done I love watching the evolution of the bruise - from sore red bump to a deep dark purple and into a motley yellowy-green.
I’ve had quite a few impressive bruises in my lifetime. The all time best would be the set I gave myself by falling off a twenty-foot ladder. Between the leg going through the rungs of the ladder and my shoulder stopping my fall, I’m not sure which bruise was prettiest. The shoulder didn’t even show a bruise for days, but when it did, the colors were spectacular. Meanwhile, the back of my calf was a midnight black instantly and stayed that way for days before it melted into a deep blue, then luminescent turquoise and into a sickly green. I still have a slight discoloration in my skin from where the injury was, almost like a bruise suntan.
And then there was my womb-ectomy bruise; a mass of purple accompanied by some pretty impressive water retention swelling. Husband refused to look at those, even though I thought they were worth the ick factor. I have pictures saved in a file on my phone under ‘Ya-Ya’ because I’m odd like that. I won’t post them here, they are very X-rated, but if we’re ever in the same room, beware.
Anyway, our friend "Bob" lost a battle with a sidewalk last weekend. He tripped over a step in front of the house they’d just bought hours before and landed on his face. When I saw him about twelve hours later, this is what his eye looked like.
THIS is why my friends are awesome! Because they indulge my weird.
See, if you find the pretty in everyday things, even painful bruises, life is always entertaining. Find the friends that nurture and indulge and are downright amused by your weird and life is totally worth living.
But watch out for sidewalks. They are mean suckers.
What I Saw at the Flea Market
By ej iamwhaleshark
I went to the Flea Market on Friday in the hopes of finding that one illusive thing that would make my life/yard/house perfect. Like perhaps a tall metal giraffe or a dozen welded goats or a large funky art sculpture or the perfect file cabinet for fifteen dollars or… I really didn’t have a ‘thing’ in mind. I was just hoping to find something that spoke to me.
It was hot and busy at 10am. I had to do lots of ducking and weaving through wandering cart pullers. You could tell right off the bat that I was not a professional Flea Market goer; I had no cart. I had no hat. I did not have a large fanny pack with a bottle of water attached. I wasn’t ready to push someone out of the way for a good deal. I did not meander from booth to booth, picking up each piece and squinting at it with my good eye. And I didn’t buy a single thing.
This is where Husband stands up and applauds my restraint in not bringing home the fifteen-foot pair of pink flamingos. To which I say, damn my tiny car.
I did, however, see marvels and random bizarre things I don’t understand right next to each other. The booths vacillated between bad garage sale and homemade well crafted furniture. Between metal sculpture alphabets and badly painted broken down dressers. And every other booth had lots and lots of animal skulls - with or without the fur or crosses in every form imaginable; painted, fashioned out of metal, etched into wood, made out of spoons or old fence posts. I’m not sure what there was more of, crosses or dead animals. As a woman raised by an atheist who saves spiders, it was a bit overwhelming.
I did pull out my phone and take a few pictures of what I saw at the Flea Market. Sadly I was too scared to take a picture of the wall of Bambi, but that probably a good thing. Who wants to see twenty-five mounted deer heads for sale in the same section as antique dressers and Steam Punk art? Well, that would be me but not enough to take a photo of it and risk the ire of the large men sitting in front of their kill.
Here is a small sampling of my day at the Flea Market. Note: no picture of the giant pink flamingos. I'm still hoping they will be coming home with me soon...
Due to my current state of despair, my inability to move off the bottom of the dark swimming pool of gloom and my complete lack of enthusiasm in moving forward with anything, Husband has challenged me to make a list of the things I enjoying doing. I could very easily make a list of things that make me happy. Spotting Owls in the yard or sarcastic comments from friends, for example, makes me giddy. But making a list of things I actually I love doing, that’s a lot harder.
I won’t bore you with much list as it stands. For example, putting puzzle together in my online puzzle made the list. I can’t for the life of me figure out where that will take me career wise, but it’s a thing I did that made me happy so it is on there. There are lots of equally satisfying but technically useless things I’ve done all week. None of them are career makers but I’ve been diligently putting them down on the list in the hopes that something will click.
Yesterday, the thing that made me the happiest was burying Dead Bat at the bottom of the garden and apologizing for our possible part in what made him dead. I went all out; wrapped him up and put him in a fancy gift bag, dug a hole and buried him in a prime mosquito-gathering place with two pretty holly bushes next to him for comfort.
I’m not sure what that says about me; I should be an undertaker or I’m at the point where drugs and therapy and little men in white coats to take me away should be considered. All I know was that that simple silly thing made my day. Even more than finding that one puzzle piece that has been hiding amongst the other pieces that fills that one hole that gets the rest of the puzzle going. That's why burying dead bat is on the list.
Yup. I can already hear the white coats coming.
Today, I’m going to the flea market. Last time I came home with an old Peahen watering can. She made me immensely happy. Not sure what job that’s going to get me but if I find Mrs. Peahen a rooster to keep her company, I might actually die laughing.
Husband, I don’t think your experiment is working.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me