I’m a fan of souvenirs. I love them when I travel. Especially to the beach. My favorite souvenir when I go to the beach is sand. I know it’s not something you want to bring home in the traditional sense of something to remember your vacation with, but to me, it’s my favorite thing. I want to have it in my car, in my suitcase, on my clothes. I pretty much want to come with a dampened towel that has been laying on the beach. And then I want to throw that towel on my bed, shake it off, and then sleep in the sandy bed for the duration of the clean sheets life. It’s fucked up. I know.
I went on another little vacation the other night. Again, not a vacation in the traditional sense, but it was a break from real life. I took a late nap… like super late…. like 10:30 pm late and woke up around midnight to meet young Marley to go watch the meteor shower. Not a thing you get to do all the time, hence why it was kind of a vacation. It was supposed to be one of the best ones we’ve had in I don’t know how many years and better than we will have for I don’t know how many years. The details are lost on me. So first we went to the quarry. Which was a stupid idea, because we are both city folk and within thirty minutes the sounds of nature have got me all paranoid and motorcycles sound like chainsaws and I’m envisioning Jason coming up out of the water while Michael Myers gets me from the other side. And aliens abduct me from above. I have a vivid imagination. Probably doesn’t help matters that young Marley encourages my ridiculous death thoughts and traumatizes me by splashing in the water. And we may have been watching alien YouTube videos. Nevertheless, we dipped out and went closer to civilization to our other little spot by the river where you can see the stars. It was a cloudy night, so we only had small windows of clarity where we could see the universe. And we did see quite a few shooting stars or meteors or whatever you want to call them. The light show wasn’t as cool as last year’s meteor shower though. That one was literally like a shower. I laid in my yard looking up at the sky and it looked like fireworks falling to the earth though they never actually hit. I imagined while watching it, that, that was kind of what an acid trip would be like or any other kind of trippy drug. I wouldn’t know because I haven’t done any drugs really, besides a few tokes and a few special brownies. Anyway, we watched the stars and talked shit and watched YouTube videos. I’m definitely in the friend zone. Which, I’m totally fine with because friends are more permanent than love and are way less likely to break up with you, right? So we finished our evening at 4am-ish. I was falling asleep and in the spirit of true friendship, he said if I actually fell asleep he would roll me up in the blanket and throw me in the river. Pretty much just like every other friend I have, which is so refreshing. So we left and went home. Our own homes… just in case I need to clarify.
The next day, I get up and go into the bathroom for my morning pee. I look down at the floor and see that I have a shit ton of little red bumps all over my feet. I don’t feel anything so I don’t think anything. I took a hot shower, got dressed, went to meet my daughter to eat brunch before she left to go home to Ohio. She sees my feet. Asks what happened. I say I think it must be chiggers (thank you google). She tells me how she has had chiggers and that a hot shower or cold compress will both help. I tell her, they feel fine.
Day Two: FUCKING CHIGGERS!!! My damn feet are on fire. They are itchy, they are red, they are uncomfortable. I’m trying to use the mind over matter technique to keep myself from scratching because according to google, scratching will leave scabs and scars. Also, I learned, as it turns out, chiggers don’t “burrow” into your skin. They are just little vindictive assholes who poke a hole in your skin, fill it with poison and then leave before you even know they are there. They are basically like all those kids who were picked on in middle school and high school who grew up and went to work in the Campbell’s soup factory and now they just spend their days revenge spitting in all the vats of soup in the hopes that someone who didn’t pick them to play dodgeball twenty years ago walks into the grocery store and picks up the chicken noodle special edition.
The Remedy: I tried the heat thing. I didn’t try the cold thing because I hate the cold. All of it. Any of it. Not intentionally making any part of me cold. Thanks, but no thanks. Anti itch cream. Witchhazel. Rubbing Alcohol. Vapor rub mixed with salt (which was actually the very best remedy). And lots and lots of self control. I’m pretty sure now that I could endure Chinese water torture and it would not drive me crazy. It’s just mind over matter!!
Day Three: Still no relief. I used the vapor rub mix, but I accidentally showered it off. I used the anti-itch cream, but when I went outside, the grass touched my feet and it made them itch so badly that as I walked through Kroger, the grocery store, to get dog food, I had to make a bee line for the pharmacy section and get more alcohol. I grabbed a box of alcohol swabs and opened them right there in the aisle and wiped my feet off. I know people were probably super duper confused. But maybe not as confused as they were when I started moaning in ecstasy as I was rubbing the itch off my feet. I might as well have been having sex on aisle 11. The number of “Oh yea” and “That’s the spot,” were probably enough to make everyone very uncomfortable. My work there was done.
I grabbed the dog food and paid for the alcohol pads and headed home. I’m still itching. My feet are still dotted as you can see above. Chiggers was not really the souvenir I wanted to bring home after my little meteorite vacation, but I guess, when you can’t get a picture of the meteors, bringing back something is better than not having anything at all to remember the night with. Or is it?!