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  • Summertime and the living is easy

    2011 - 06.03

      Whew, summer just sent an advance notice of her impending arrival. And humid-La’ ha’ mercy! Reminds me of chasing lighting bugs (you might call them fireflies), putting them in a jar with a lid filled with holes so they wouldn’t suffocate, grass in the bottom for food. I don’t know why I thought lightning bugs ate grass. I suppose it seemed logical since they lived outside and I felt they had to eat something.

    If my cousins were visiting, after we caught a blue million of the pulsating little critters, I’d take the bug lamp to the darkest corner of the yard and gather the others for a story. With my clothes stuck to my damp skin, sweat seeping from every pore, I was uncomfortable enough to come up with some creepy stories. My only goal was to make at least, the very least, one cousin squeal in fright by the end of the story. If I was lucky, one of them would get mad because I’d scared him so bad. If the planets were in proper alignment I’d scare one of them so bad he’d run crying to his mommy. Even being scolded by an aunt didn’t dissuade me from trying to replicate that fear in another person the rest of my life. If you notice, I used the pronoun “him”; all my cousins near my age were boys and believe me, they tormented me every chance they got. That’s what made the revenge of his wet pants and crying all the way home so rewarding.

    Fast-forward a decade and hot, sultry nights when the air is so thick you can taste it on your tongue, the smell of honeysuckle drifts by with every small breeze and the leather of the car seat again sticks to my skin. The windows are open, the radio is playing and Jimmy Ruffin’s asking me what becomes of the broken hearted. The boy behind the steering wheel is talking but all I hear is the song of the crickets being accompanied by the frogs. Nothing else can compare.

    Then too, I was imagining some ferocious creature lurching toward the car and would soon swear I heard a hook being dragged along the back of the car.

    I lost of lot of boyfriends that way. <shrug>

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