Archive for July 5th, 2007

If you’re wondering why the previous post, the creative writing challenge, exists … well, you have good reason to wonder right along with me. I certainly do have enough work on, and just the thought of adding to my ‘to do’ list sets my fingers into spasm.

This, however, popped out like giggle.

The rules were that it had to be less than 750 words and correctly use all of the following words:

  • ubiquitous
  • yo-yo
  • brown recluse spider
  • quixotic
  • abrogate
  • perfunctory
  • quid pro quo
  • Belize
  • for all intents and purposes
  • melissophobia
  • The thing was written almost before I finished reading the submission instructions. Apparently, my brain needed a sugar fix.

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    Hiking across an island with Norman is always more of an adventure than it should be. Completely and understandably dedicated to a case of melissophobia arising from an encounter on a lump of land in the Indian Ocean with about 13,000 African bees that should well have killed him, what should for all intents and purposes be little more than a perfunctory scurry from Point A to Point B ends up with us popping off and on the trail like a yo-yo in the hand of a hypoglycemic manic-depressive riding a blood sugar spike.

    Like background noise on every tropical island in the world, buzzing is ubiquitous; every single thing, living or inanimate, gives off some thrum that could be confused for a flying fellow of the apiary assortment. Sheesh … evaporating raindrops off coconut leaves buzz, forcryinoutloud!

    I’ll admit there was a time when these strolls with Norm held some quixotic appeal, but ever since an early attempted tryst on a semi-deserted caye in Belize went pear-shaped — the engine of a distant fishing boat convinced him that a bee’s butt was headed for his hind end — I’ve been less than swept off my feet. Seeing as how I broke three toes when he tossed me into what he thought was the path of a speeding stinger, I think my present state of unimpressed is about right.

    This is not to say that I don’t have my own freakish moments of the small and creepish kind. Far be it from me to abrogate a healthy aversion. Quid pro quo, I say, and a bug is a bug is a bug.

    Arachnophobic to the nth degree … and not one bit ashamed since it makes nothing but sense to react with revulsion to something with far too many legs and all those eyes … I can trace my very reasonable and not irrational fear to a childhood liaison with a brown recluse spider who wasn’t nearly reclusive enough, but most certainly brown and had more than enough spider to her.

    Lest anyone think it was some mutual repulsion from the small and furry that brought the two of us together and set us on a course to walk the world’s atolls and isolated smatters of land mass side-by-side, I should probably explain that the whole island-walking relationship thing was actually based on a typo I mistook for a mystical omen.

    Just out of college, I had a hankering to see my footprints on the small and sandy shores dotted around the globe. As a single woman, it seemed a good idea to find a compatible male counterpart to share expenses and lend a semblance of couple-commitment to ward off unwanted advances.

    With a sense of fulfilling a mystical mission designed by pure karma, I set to perusing the classifieds in my local paper for a traveling companion of the masculine variety that would share my calling.

    It was within the first minutes of searching that I triumphantly discovered what I now know to be a misprint that dropped a couple of sentences and made one ad out of two:

    “1972 Chevy Vega, good condition, call Norman,” and “Why not own a piece of paradise? Happiness is an island.”

    Imagine my wonder … my blissful inner-assurance that a match made on a greater plane than I usually managed to tread was about to become my reality … as I read:

    Norman is an island.

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