Sunday, July 21, 2013
Welcome home, Scarface
It was past ten when we arrived home from holiday last night, and the resident muscle-men were kind enough to haul all the bags and boxes from the car to the kitchen.
All but one duffel: mine.
And I was damned if I wasn't going to have my favorite nightgown and the engrossing book I was reading, having just traveled for ten hours, through pounding rain, in a vehicle whose interior was dark enough to make reading said book impossible but light enough that I could see the ghost-whiteness of my knuckles.
Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to marry race-car drivers.
So I trudged out to the car, heaved my duffel's neck-breaking entirety onto one shoulder, yanked Ruby's pillow from the backseat, and wound my way in the dark through the family's various trucks and heavy machinery, back to the house.
The fever-steam we call Florida rain had ceased a while earlier, but water was still trickling and splatting everywhere. And then an enormous fan palm frond, its moorings weakened by God knows how many gallons of water and miles-per-hour of wind, tumbled from above, hitting me in the face--hard--and giving me a lovely diagonal gash on the bridge of my nose. I knew it was a gash because I immediately tasted the blood now coursing downward, ruining my camisole.
I pounded on the much-closer back door, because Robert had locked it so the boys wouldn't go in and out and in and out the way they always seem compelled to do, letting mosquitoes in. Nothing. I pounded again, feeling more anger than pain at that point. Then I gave up, shifted the duffel (which was getting wetter by the minute) to my other shoulder, and traipsed, pack-mule-like, to the kitchen door, all the while trying to ignore the earsplitting din of the incessantly copulating tree-frogs who rarely have anything better to do on a Saturday night in rural Florida and who can fucking blame them.
My poor nose duly Neosporined and Band-aided, my tea made (with condensed milk, because the bloody milk had gone bad before its time--typical), I went to bed, looking forward to a good six hours of oblivion.
But I'd forgotten about the vicious, inconsiderate bastards who drive the Tropicana train along the lake at all hours of the night. In just a few hours, there they were again, blasting their house-rattling, dog-awakening horns.
There is nothing you can do to me that Florida has not already done.
Posted by Deborah Newell Tornello at 7:20 AM