During lunch yesterday, some friends told me that it had been awhile since I complained about the wildlife in Alabama. "You must be adjusting well," they told me. "We haven't heard you talk about mice and spiders."
Cut to: The Farmhouse, Seven Hours Later
While meditating in the front room, my intuition told me to go outside to see what was causing our Beagle, Molly, to bark. I took a few steps out the door, thinking I would see a rabbit or maybe a coyote. Instead, it was a four-foot Cottonmouth snake.
Cut to: Screaming woman
I ran back in the farmhouse, to the bedroom to fetch my gun Jethro. Then I ran back to get the dog, who was teasing the snake. Backing and running towards it, barking.
Cut to: Screaming woman
My voice was hoarse from screaming. I threw branches at Molly and chased her around. Jethro finally comes out with a shovel and yells back at me to get the dog inside. Doing my best Janis Joplin imitation, I yelled for Molly once again. I must've registered three octave levels at the same time. Molly looked at me as if I was being slightly unreasonable in my reaction. She stopped cold. I grabbed her and hustled her inside the house.
Cut to: Snake with mouth wide open. Fangs.
Even I caught sight of it. That thing was the thickest snake I'd ever seen in my life. And of course, I'm now screaming yet again. "Do you need the gun?" Jethro yells back at me to get into the house since he's sick of my screaming.
So I paced inside the house by the front door, waiting for Jethro to get bitten.
Cut to: Clock ticking
In what seemed like forever, I finally saw Jethro carry the limp snake out to the field with the shovel. Later on, we decided that the snake was a cottonmouth, and those snakes, friends, are venomous. It almost made Jethro wish that he grabbed his gun instead of the shovel.
As for me... It almost made me wish I grew a backbone. Maybe it's time to put in for that archery set.
My review of Body of Work: Meditations on Mortality from the Human Anatomy Lab, by Christine Montross was published in yesterday's Birmingham News. Yep, it's all about cutting open human cadavers. It was paired with Anna Velasco's front page story on how UAB School of Medicine is changing how human anatomy is taught.
Whenever I undertake a history project, I end up living in two time frames – the past and the present.
Since beginning this project 10 days ago, I’ve lost the present. Tuesday is Thursday; Wednesday slipped by and Friday was a surprise.
So now it’s Monday again. A whole week has faded into something other than a memory. I haven’t thought anything about the present. I’ve read books – other than the ones I review - but have nothing to share about them.
Instead, I’m thinking about the time period I’m writing about, and I’m spending time with people who don’t exist, in situations that have already happened.
Maybe this week, I’ll work out the dichotomy between the past and the present. Between what’s in my head and what actually exists in the current time frame.
My review of Healthy Mother Healthy Child: Creating Balance in Everyday Life, by Elizabeth Irvine was published in yesterday's Birmingham News. Through the grace of modern technology, you can read the review online.