Today started like any other day on the mesa. If day began at 9:00 AM.
First a look outside to see what the weather chose to wear – blue? gray? sea mist? Today it was drizzle with an oversized drape of steel. Then, a firm scolding directed at my phone. It seems laryngitis has taken hold. The radiating little beast refuses to make a sound. To include the one it was to make at 7AM.
As with every rise and shine, I began today being grateful with my eyes closed. I would have been well-served had I fallen back asleep, knocked unconscious by self-preservation. Or at least that’s how I felt.
The impishly magical nature of Bolinas has entertained me this past week, a week without the dudes and with a long list of must get dones. Today it took imp to new heights.
I’m still trying to calm myself.
All the while feeling so silly, sad, grateful (even though I want to be spiteful) and not at all sexy as I welcome another brutal menstrual cycle made worse by a total lack of exercise. (Thank you in advance for tolerating my need to share that with you. Were it to occur monthly, and with less BLOATAGE, I wouldn’t feel the need to
vomit vent divulge.)
Today was the penultimate day of my solo-cation: 5 days to get my entire life in order so I can breathe.
Day 5 was only a scream short of a Bruce Willis action movie.
The Hollywood movie set theme is low hanging literary fruit, but really quite on the mark. Albeit without the waif thin heroine and pyrotechnics. This movie is leaning more Hitchcock and less Ridley Scott. Which is another reason to be sad, for I find Ridley Scott to be beyond sexy. If I were to have emerged, bloated, from my cottage this morning to find Ridely Scott straddling a boom lift…well, it would have been a much different day.
Instead, I woke with a foggy head but with optimism. The last few nights on the mesa have been playful. A gaggle of handsome boys have been staying in the carriage house with…Appolo. His name is now Appolo. Yesterday, as I dragged out empty boxes, they dragged their bums outside after a night of adventure and ventured off to get water. Clearly not fans of sulfur. I imagined throwing caution to the fog and joining them for a trip down Youth Lane. And then I flattened another box and lassoed another dust bunny.
I’m not 25 anymore.
But I can fantasize.
The boy band off to revel in the adoration of screaming fans left Appolo and me to meet under the full moon, which neither of us could see. Clouds ruled the sky. My commitment to walk the sands of Stinson under its glow just one of a few goals pushed aside this week for no good reason.
Me thinks Nature is feeling a bit ignored.
Appolo is a gentle soul. Soft eyes and long hair, all an earthy brown. Beautiful. Open. So open as to require me to be very conscious. Or we would for sure end up in an embrace on a bed of poison oak, wondering why the itch and how did we get here. Bolinas raised, he has that dug up out of the earth way about him – not in a you need a bath way, but you are as delicious as a black truffle way. He came over to borrow a DVD, take a walk through the home he was raised in and left after a hug that said, I’m glad you’ve finally arrived.
Come over anytime. We can have some wine. Hang out, he said.
…yes we can, and we should…after I get myself grounded enough to not go all cougar on you. (Mom, don’t blame me, blame the hormones.) As an aside, I’ve been given permission by his Mom. Apollo likes older women, apparently.
Well. I’m officially ‘older’.
Which wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t feel officially fatter. (A period every four months means four months of water retention for each period.)
This morning, as I punched down paper into a bag of recycling, fixated on the bulge of flesh that extended over my loose jeans – I use that term loosely – I became aware of the sound of an engine. That’s an unusual sound here. Typically the only racket on the mesa is that of the waves or coyotes or my dog making her presence known. Or a hummingbird. Or the sound of laughter from my Fairy Godparents – otherwise known as landlords.
It got louder. I pounded paper.
It got louder still.
My head down, I wondered, What is that sound? Oblivious.
And then I looked up. A moment too late.
Bees. Not hundreds. Thousands. A swarm of epic proportions. End of days style. Empty air was filled with buzzing bodies. 50 feet high. Longer than I could measure. Wider than I wanted to know. Never have I seen so many bees in motion.
Never have I seen so many bees.
I stood still. Which made me a target. In that split second I saw my dog just moments before demise by yellow jacket. Her ears were pitched forward, but the hair hanging over her eyes kept her dangerously in the dark. As she sat still I acted as if I’d sat on a hand grenade.
Without a cookie in hand there was no convincing her that death was on her doorstep. She stayed out while I ran inside. From behind closed doors, in a house so well insulated that I haven’t had to turn on the heat, I could hear them buzzing. I looked out the kitchen windows facing north and froze at the sight.
It was the equivalent of a bee snow storm.
Two unproductive hours later the trembling stopped. The antidote being a rare 20 minute lay down in bed during daylight hours. I had to retreat to my lair to chill out. Those bees upended me. For two minutes it was nothing but uncertainty and certain terror.
While not shaking anymore I was still on edge.
Nothing says relax like a broom and a dust pan. The living room needed a sweep and I needed the broosh, broosh of mindless cleaning to take the place of daytime drinking.
Holy honey, that was a chilling experience!
But I had the delivery of the final box of bunk bed paraphernalia to look forward to, in the nick of time. The beds are three weeks overdue. I am a patient woman, in some ways. For those in the service business I give and give until I feel that I’m being used. Then my brain fires without hesitation and with total precision. Yesterday, when the truck pulled up and one tiny box was lifted off, I knew the drama would continue.
As I helped to carry in the box, I was told a tale of traffic so bad as to make the trip back north the kind of affair that warrants backcountry supplies. After the box was on the ground he turned to leave.
We’re putting this together, right?
I only deliver it. I’ve got a long drive ahead of me. I don’t put the stuff together.
I confirmed three times that the delivery that was supposed to happen three weeks ago would include assembly. So let’s get this box open and get her together.
He looked at me as if I had stopped him on the street and asked him to clean my clogged toilet, before plunging it. Using only his mouth.
After calling headquarters, he reluctantly grabbed a pocket knife from his truck to slice the tape on a box that was entirely too small to hold bunk beds unless they were for forest fairies. Inside that little box were two footboards and two headboards and nothing to join them in holy bedrimony.
In an effort to not infuriate you with the madness that was my conversation with the owner of this furniture
hell store, I will reduce it to: We’re very busy because we’re so successful. The other box is right here. I can text you a picture if you want. It might be raining tomorrow so I can’t guarantee a delivery. But I’d be happy to give you a full refund.
Can you say, Eat my bees?
He promised the other box would be delivered at 5 PM, Thursday, today. How could he ever screw up this last chance at making it right.
So with the swarm a still chilling memory, I swept clean the living room in anticipation of a delivery that was to be met like an audience with the Queen. I was so ready to put to bed the beds. More than anything, I wanted the dudes to arrive home and find their mattresses off the ground and cozy, waiting for them.
A furniture delivery as drawn out as a divorce is not something to get all melodramatic about, I assured myself. The rest of the beds will arrive today – just in time. Like everything in my life.
All in the nick of time.
My pep talk took me up the set of stairs to the kitchen where High Maintenance Kitty was grooming himself, four feet away from a snake coiled up by the french doors that lead to the patio. Not outside the doors, but in my kitchen.
You have got to be kidding me.
The snake played dead, I was frozen and HMK licked the fur on his outstretched leg, oblivious to everything but how fabulous he is.
This snake was not huge, but it was in my house. It wasn’t a rattlesnake. But it was in my house. I wasn’t in danger, but I acted like it was a rattlesnake not only in my house but on my face, its fangs in the deepest of a french kiss.
With broom in hand I concocted a terrorist act suitable for an arch enemy. My 80s boom box became the barrier to the left, a paper bag full of legos became the barrier to the right. I tiptoed to the doors, which were closed, to open them with the broom as my shield.
Quite possibly the worst shield known to mankind. Knights in shining armor the world over laugh in echoes at me.
Not only did the snake not move while I swung open both doors, but HMK never stopped preening.
Are you a cat or a Kardashian?
Maybe I should toss you out and let the snake stay. The mice will flee and I won’t have to buy Zagat rated food for the reptile.
My sarcasm paved the way for things to go from bad to worse.
I begged, pleaded and linguistically outmaneuvered myself in an effort to convince the snake to raise its head, notice the grass and realize its GPS got it all wrong. Then I resorted to the broom. As ineffective as a shield as it is a snake charmer.
HMK was curious as to why I was reenacting a Curling match with no visible stone to sweep. He made his way to the doors and straddled the snake, pink nose raised to smell something…what is that smell?
He walked outside.
You have got to be kidding me.
The snake hissed a sigh of relief and turned its head towards me.
Lady, you have got to be kidding me. Put down the broom. I’m a harmless wisp of a reptile. Get over yourself. I’m no threat.
I shoved the broom at him and he recoiled, bringing up his head defiantly, his tiny tongue uncurling so that its end rested on the floor.
After terrorizing him for 45 minutes, all in an effort to gently encourage him to leave, I ripped off the side of a lone and empty box. I’ll slide it under him and flip him to the wind.
It’s too short. This day has been too much. I’ve been buzzed by bees, bullied by a bunk bed hostage taker, and now my serenity (pft) intruded upon by a snake.
Time is ticking. I can’t sit here all day staring at this serpent.
MAKE A DECISION!
Short or not, I’m sliding this cardboard under his fit little body and launching him out of my space.
It was ugly but mission accomplished.
He sat, stunned and curled up, shaking like I had been hours before. He committed to playing dead (or I killed him) as HMK finally came to and realized a critter was in our midst. He gingerly walked over – so as not to collect to much dirt on his fluffy white paws – and stuck his nose directly into the coil.
My eyes were the size of Asian pears.
Then he reached out his paw and pet him.
Spent. Totally spent. I’m 100% totally spent.
But at least I’ll get the boys’ beds tonight.
I dragged the last of the empty boxes outside to load in the car. Mr. Viking will need them. I may not be creating magic right now, but I’m avoiding mayhem. That counts for something. Maybe I should wash my face. It’s been at least a day.
Or maybe I’ll take a shower. For sure that hasn’t happened since Monday.
Gosh, I haven’t been this grungy in years. Truly, years.
I looked up the lane to see my Fairy Godmother. Minutes later I would come face to face with the elusive film director.
Only my face had two days of grime keeping it from human contact and my hair was greased back in a pony tail, if ponies were gross.