|I was sitting at a table in an open cafe. The day was beautiful and the cafe was crowded and soon I found someone tugging at the sleeve of my shirt. I looked up to see this short, young woman who was dressed like she’d fallen into Stevie Nick’s wardrobe and had rolled around in it until she was covered. I’m not sure I would call it gypsy chic so much as rich material hobo. This is to say that she was dressed quite eclectically and stood out like a sore thumb among all of the pastel shirts and summer attire . I guess that’s why she choose to stop at my table; I was probably the only one there who looked like she knew all the words to any given Fleetwood Mac song.
The young woman asked if she could share my table as there were no free tables. I nodded my head and gestured to the empty seat across from me. She fell into the chair as though her legs were rabidly becoming rubber. A waitress came to the table and asked her if she’d like to order anything. The woman’s very small, yarn wrapped hands reached into a pocket and came back with only a few quarters. She shrugged her shoulders sadly and began to shake her head no. I told her to get something, that it would be on me. I didn’t have much either but I was doing better than a few quarters.
|So a wonderful thing happened today: I got to see a back specialist. Thanks to a fortunate black ice slip next to my car two years back prompted some non-to-be-denied tests in the ER as I walked bent over uttering “ouch ouch ouch” over and over again all chant like. One MRI later it was confirmed what we already knew -my lower back is pretty jacked. The positive side after some testing is that I probably don’t have ankylosing spondylitis like my dad, so hey! Three cheers to my spine not fusing the longer I’m on the planet. It’s just your garden variety arthritis. And phsssbt, I’ve had that everywhere else since I was a tween. However, there was also the problem of a bulging disk and this nerve situation and well… it was still nice to hear “So Ms Bajema, you say you’ve had decent back pain for ten years now? I think I know what’s causing it.”
Seeing the specialist was altogether better because she really rooted into the problem. She looked at my xrays and MRI and nodded her head as she muttered “interesting, interesting”. She got me all flattened out on my stomach and grabbed some pliers and said “I think we have something more insidious going on here. Let’s have a pull and tug. Now try to relax -you may feel a little pressure.” She put a foot against my butt, rammed the pliers into my back and started commanding the monster to get the hell out of there. Needless to say I was a little taken aback by this hands on approach. I think I sputtered “so you’re an osteopath I take it?”
|Tonight we sat in our small, cut-out of the ghetto backyard wonderland. As I eased back into my discount easy-plastic-chair I noticed a movement from the trees. It was in the corner pine tree actually -the sad little tree that had been overcome with thick layers of English Ivy when we first moved into the house. The branches still lingering towards the mid-to-top of the tree have always looked a bit too weak to support any real tree crawling wild life.
I walked towards it – curious. The first thing I saw was the limb-like thin tail that cupped the aging pine below it. Then -so slowly- a somewhat shaggy body appeared from the branches above. A very scruffy creature moved into the glow of the tiki-torches and stared us down. This was a possum and he was very much: I am the marsupial of this American landscape bitches! (I have to wonder why all of our local wild life are so taken with calling us bitches. It simply must be the neighborhood.)
I respected his quiet battle cry right from the beginning. I watched, nearly mesmerized by how well he used his tail to move down the small tree next to the antique evergreen. He was mostly white with large patches of gray/yellow moving through his fur. He gave us a direct stare and said -with this silent conversation- “why yes, I’m an ugly, scavenger sort to your untrained eyes, but I am a KING in my world.”
|I noticed the other day there was a large web at the bottom of the stairwell leading into the basement. Sitting in it was a strange looking spider I wasn’t terribly familiar with species wise. It had extremely long thin legs, a very small head and a large oval shaped butt that almost looked like pale silver. His web was filled with tiny little web balls that I assume belonged to the random fruit fly that wanders from the basement where the recycling bin for bottles is. I gave it a nod of approval for helping with the fruit fly battle.
As I was heading upstairs I suddenly heard the thundering intro to Iron Man. I quickly moved to look down the stairwell again and witnessed this strange spider in full attack mode. He was rolling his catch into a dinner cocoon with his bottom two legs while he enthusiastically played air guitar with his upper two legs. He looked at me and said in his spider voice (which was, honestly, far louder than I thought that body could produce) “I’m Frederick the fruit fly slayer bitches! Dun dun dun dun dun, dunadunadunaduna dun dun dun…”
I smiled and quietly gave him devil signs with my hands and headed back upstairs. I’m not sure where he’s hiding his stereo but thankfully I’ve only had to tell him to turn his Black Sabbath down a few times. We have been blessedly fruit fly free.
is copyright 2015 Bethalynne Bajema. All Rights Reserved.