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Hallelujah

Its a legitimately beautiful day in Lake Annis. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping (not really – there aren’t many birds) and the insects are freaking swarming. I’m coated in Deep Woods OFF! – a product whose label cheerfully proclaims, “maximum amount of DEET permitted by LAW!” – and getting some much needed color on the increasingly flabby torso (a week off from exercise does not, friends, do a body good). ¬†What else is happening? Glad you asked.

There is some community meeting going on in the backyard of one of the Burns homes here on the compound. I took a brief peek and it looked like a seance circle for the elderly. Lots of aged white flesh pressed into uncomfortable looking chairs, circled as if readying to defend the rations. I gather they are discussing an important community issue as seemingly everyone who lives within twenty five miles turned up (there were only seven cars but at least two hundred people. These folks love to carpool). But since there was no shouting, cursing, or overt threats being made I quickly lost interest. I grabbed my Vilebrequin bathing suit and made a beeline outta there.

Those of you who have seen me in a setting more rustic than my immediate neighborhood – such as Prague, the beach, or Williamsburg – know that I hate bugs. Especially mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are, pretty much, the bane of my existence. They love to suck my immaculate blood and leave me with welts the size of frisbees. I know not why these parasitic creatures enjoy my delicate flesh so, only that they do. And while I spray myself with my OFF! like a bronzed beauty in St. Tropez blasts herself with her Evian Brumisateur, the stuff eventually wears off and I get bitten. Additionally, there are places, tender private places, where OFF! dare not go. And the face is a whole issue unto itself because when OFF! gets into one’s mouth it has the rather alarming tendency to turn one’s lips wholly numb. Modern technology!

Nonetheless, I practically bathe in the stuff because its better than getting eaten alive in the woods. If you’ve got suggestions, hit up that comments box.

I’m starting to get scarily used to being unable to speak. When those around me address me I have a kneejerk response not to verbalize anything, but rather to give them a thumbs up. The thumbs up has become the nearly universal response. “Billy, how are you?” Thumbs up. “Are you ok, do you need anything?” Thumbs up “Do you want to sit in on the local community board meeting?” Blank stare. Its actually a fabulous way of communicating as long as your needs aren’t too nuanced or complex. What’s more, all the thumb upping (thumbing up?) can’t help but remind me of a trip I took to Brazil a few years ago with two fabulous friends. Everyone in Brazil, like deep-sea divers, enjoys utilizing the frequent thumbs up move. On that trip I did substantially more speaking and boozing than on this one and thus have fond, if hazy, remembrances of wine lists, discotheques, and speeding taxis at 5am.

Alas, none of that here. Instead I shall make due now with a bit of wading in the lake. Lets hope I don’t encounter too much icky gross moss underfoot.

xx

-B

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  1. Gallo
    August 15th, 2009 at 19:14 | #1

    I know that blank stare. Medoubts it’s going anywhere post-silence.

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