Last Wednesday was weird. Everything below was at least inspired by something that happened. The Navajo girl really sang and shook her seeds, the man really wanted to go to Cuba, and the hummingbird really sang and swooped. But a lot of it is fictitious; I obviously didn’t die in the shower, I went to work but came home early, and the black widow came out at night and died under my rubber mallet. I hope you enjoy:
The Navajo girl walks out of the gas station shaking her bag of sunflower seeds like a giant rattle while singing a native dirge. It’s low and guttural and sonorous but she just sings louder when we make eye contact. She’s roughly attractive, almost Asian in her features, but we both look away. She gets into a late eighties Mercedes and closes the door. I finish filling up and pull onto 550 heading south on my way to Albuquerque. Sublime plays on my radio. I pass a hitchhiking man wearing a sombrero and holding a cardboard sign that says “Cuba” in Sharpie. Sure, Cuba is a shitty little town that’s landlocked right in the middle of New Mexico, so his destination is plausible, but he looks like he’s going to the Cuba with classic cars and illegal cigars. The weirdness of the day smacks me and I flip a U-turn; it’s best to stay home on days like this.
I drive home and strip out of my shirt. There’s a lawn chair in my back yard amongst the bugs and cat stench; I missed out on a tan torso while living in Alaska so I make up for it now. Hell, I used to make fun of the dudes that’d walk around with their tattoos and abs, but as it turns out, that’s only because I didn’t have tattoos or abs. I’ve got them now, five and six of each respectively, so I lay out. I set the alarm on my phone for ten minutes. I give my back the sun first, and then flip when my phone beeps so my front can also brown. I’m no better than a grilled cheese in a frying pan.
A male hummingbird is doing aerial acrobatics over my head, but he’s doing them for the diminutive female that’s perched on my humming bird feeder. God they’re incredible little creatures. He sings a warbling song that distorts under Doppler’s laws as he flies by. I do my best to picture him as his mate does; slow and perfect, but I can’t. My brain is too slow, or too big.
Something tickles my leg so I look down. A black widow is slowly walking up my leg, across my shin and over my knee, on her way up my body. The beads of sweat must be like puddles; my leg hairs like hurtles to a track star. What the hell? They’re supposedly nocturnal. They aren’t supposed to fuck with you unless you fuck with them. The golden rule is instinctual for the black widow. It’s too late now. Maybe I should’ve stayed at work.
The spider raises her front two legs in the air, almost like she just doesn’t care, and starts waving them around. I see her fangs and her red hour glass tattoo. I realize that she’s about to strike as the warbling song of the hummingbird gets louder. Jesus it’s stentorian. He swoops down and plucks the spider from my leg with his needle nose beak. It hurts, but only a little bit. There’s a small bead of blood. Maybe my hero grazed me with a tiny talon or maybe the spider got in her bite. Either way, it’s time for a shower. My phone beeps and I’ve cooked for ten minutes on both sides.
The water starts washing over me and I think about the hummingbird as the steam softens my skin and my sight. What the hell was that anyway? Don’t hummingbirds live off of nectar? I guess maybe they need the occasional dose of poisonous protein to round off their diets. Or maybe that act of salvation was the feat that sealed the deal for his voyeuristic lady friend. She’ll have to have his babies now. Any hummingbird suitor that’s tough enough to kill a black widow is good enough for her nest.
I stare at the shower wall and see a single hair from my wife’s head stuck on the tile. It was probably on the bar of antibacterial soap. Someone must’ve picked it off and stuck it to the wall. It makes me smile because it’s in the shape of a perfect ampersand, but there’s nothing to the left or right of it; nothing and nothing. And that’s when shit gets weird. I get light headed, maybe I locked my knees for too long, and I faint. My body crumples into a fetal position on the shower floor because that’s the only way it fits down there.
I shake it off and stand. But when I rise, I do so in the desert, which is absolute bullshit because this is exactly the place I was trying to avoid after seeing that man on his way to Cuba. Whatever. I look around. There’s a tree in front of me that looks to have grown out of the ground, grown right back into it, and then died. It looks like some odd and bark covered serpent that’s swimming through the sand and sage brush. It’s a dead arch of wood. The land through and beyond the arch is in focus. Everything else is blurry. Again, whatever. I get down on all fours and crawl through.
I write and sell books and they never cost more than a dollar. If you’re a fan of fiction, you should check out Trailer Park Juggernauts here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00704HK6Q If you’re a fan of real life with just a sprinkling of fiction, you should check out Ephemeral Truths and Short Fiction here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AYRAXNI