Tuesday, June 19, 2012
mosquitoes, deluges, and other plagues
We meant to go so we could write together, so I could take some photographs of Opal settling into yoga poses for her business. But in every wooded path, we were beset by clouds of mosquitoes, and none of us slathered that kind salve or that fierce deet before departure, so we began to freckle with bites. Later, I itched my elbow in my sleep and it puffed up from a cluster of three; Opal had a particularly nasty white disc of a bite on her cheek; Meryl came out with her hair flung in various positions from shaking loose the bugs. Our hike was speedy and desperate and frustrated, though we did distract one another by talking about books: Meryl is planning a course at St. Catherine's, so she had various considerations and themes (swamps! mothers!) but none were settling quite right. I suggested she check out Suzan-Lori Parks' Getting Mother's Body, and she told us about a play she was reading that involved an older woman living with her mother, the woman's suicide deal that would somehow occur depending on the results of the evening.
We meant to write at the cafe we escaped to, but the sweat began to freeze our shirts to our skins, so we went outside, gathered cast iron chairs in a sun-shaded circle. (Opal's drink: mango tropics and mine: strawberry banana, each a welcome iced chill after that hot, bitten walk.) More talk, good talk, and we watched the thunderheads come in. And then: the rain. Whose brilliant idea was it to make a run for the car in the worst of it? I chided them: It's only a little rain and the car is so close! But in the frenzy, Opal couldn't bleep the passenger doors open and the three of us were drenched in the hard-hitting rain. We steamed up the inside of her car, wet and wet and more wet.
No poem got written, but we did discuss some interesting things: the woman who claimed pregnancy after watching 3-D porn (which turned out to be an Onion-type joke), the vampirism of mosquitoes (it was a fairly memorable part of the day), Meryl's upcoming writing residency, Opal's upcoming inaugural camping trip, the little bean within.