Stella the Ratdog and I were just settling down for our usual Sunday afternoon snooze when James came into the room to tell me about the SNAKE he’d caught in the backyard. Our backyard is usually a jamboree of squirrels and birds, especially as the days get warmer. Saturday morning, there were easily 100 robins pecking away at the ground. But the arrival of a snake was not expected, nor was it welcome. At least on my end.
James has an affinity for the creepy and the crawly. There’s an aquarium near our dinner table with three albino frogs swimming around in it. Yes, I’m a patient woman. When he suggested that maybe he should keep the snake he’d caught (and placed inside a cooler that we usually put beer in), I responded with a most definite “HELL NO.” I knew he wouldn’t kill it. It was probably an eastern hognose, and they aren’t poisonous, so no reason to give it the death penalty. But I did request that he give it the far-away-from-our-house penalty. I go outside barefoot, man. And am easily startled. And have a little dog.
It’s bad enough that the flying cockroaches will soon make their reappearance. I don’t want to add snakes to the fear and loathing mix. Though, really, I need to deal with my fear of flying insects and slithering reptiles. When I have my cabin in the woods, there will be plenty of both. Can’t be a mincing wad of fear and maintain my tough exterior.
Unrelated: instead of watching the Oscars, I’m watching Morgan Freeman’s Through the Wormhole. This episode is about time travel, and Freeman just uttered the words “stygian depths.” Won’t hear shit like that on the red carpet.
Related to the unrelated: thinking about time travel reminds me of this guy Cliff I used to know. He was my trainer for the brief, glorious nine months or so that I worked out at a boxing gym (a gym where professional boxers worked out – an unairconditioned, two story metal building downtown that no longer exists – NOT an air conditioned grrrll-power puff place filled with motivational posters and tampon machines). We became friends outside of the gym, and he often made…bad decisions that I felt obligated to point out to him. We’d have an awkward conversation about whatever it was (this was back in my preachy 20s), and he’d say, “I can’t wait until a week from now when this has passed.”
I think of that statement any time I’m in the midst of something painful, unfun, awkward, scary or boring. I think about a week or a month or a year from then, the moment when whatever the situation is has resolved itself in some way. And, amazingly, it brings me a little peace. Because this too – whatever it is – shall pass. Eventually. That’s a sort of time travel, I think. Emotional time travel.