Along Came a Spider


Bella, my niece-dog is either asleep or into something all the time. Right now she’s asleep so you and I can get our daily visit in. It’s still pretty warm here in America Junction and because we had rain today, the humidity’s 91%. Walking outside is like walking into a steam room but Bella loves her uncle so she’s snuggled up against my leg. I don’t dare move it– one, because I don’t want her to think I don’t love her and two, because she might wake up– and when she wakes up, she’s tearing something up. I keep convincing myself that I’ve puppy-proofed the house but somehow she’ll manage to find something new to destroy. Last night she “read” a book about Jesus. When I was shaking the remnants at her and screaming, I heard myself say, “Well I hope you digested some of it at least!” That cracked me up so when she heard me laughing, she switched from the pitiful “I’m sowwy” look to her “time to play!” look, which is pretty much her default mode.

She got up on the counter yesterday and broke one of Mama’s mixing bowls from the 70s. That kind of made me sad. I thought I’d swept up all the shards of white glass but my big toe apparently found a little sliver of it. At first I thought it was blistered from a little bit of barefoot running I did earlier this week finally when I figured out that it was weird that just my left big toe seemed to be hurting, I investigated. It was already getting infected so I dug around in there with a huge needle to see if I could find anything. I got the tweezers and pulled at the carnage but couldn’t really tell if I was pulling out glass or just the hard parts of the bottom of my foot. Usually when you dig around on something like that it tends to feel better after but I could barely walk! I started to thing that maybe there was something stuck way up in there. I do not want to go the VA and sit for hours. I called Phillip Swafford to tell him to come up here and cut on it a little bit with a razor blade but he didn’t answer. I left him a message but he doesn’t ever check those. If you want to talk to Phillip or Jin Swafford, you might as well get in the truck and drive on down there because they don’t ever answer their phones! I don’t even know why they have them. Or you could write about it in the blog and he’ll call tomorrow and say, “Did you get it out?”

I decided that soaking my toe in Epsom salts would be worth giving a try even though I’ve never been a huge believer. Or maybe that’s not true. Maybe I do believe it helps things but it always seems like so much trouble. My toe was hurting bad enough to do something so I started searching around for something big enough to soak one of my feet in. That’s not as easy as it sounds. I wear a size 13 or 14 depending on the shoe. I couldn’t find anything in the rest of the house so I decided to go look in Mama and Daddy’s bathroom. I found one of those hospital pans that had a bunch of those hospital toiletries in it. By the time I’d taken half of them out and put them on the counter, the waterworks had started. Then it turned to sobs and then I was crying like I was about five years old and I’d come home to find them missing. I just went and lay on their bed a cried as loud as I wanted. I figured nobody was around to hear so who cares? The crying turned to angry screams at one point, which sort of scared me so I decided to reel it in. I just lay there looking up at the ceiling and letting the tears flood my ears. I hurt and I wondered if my parents could see me there. I wondered if they could help me.

Just then a tiny spider rappelled down on his own single-strand web from the ceiling fan. The Spider is my totem. It is the spirit animal of writers and storytellers. I took that to mean that I should get up from that bed and write about the experience. And so I did.

See y’all tomorrow.

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