“The first week of August hangs at the very top of the summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning.
“The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot.
“It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.
“Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone. There is no thunder, no relieving rain. These are strange and breathless days, the dog days, when people are led to do things they are sure to be sorry for after.”
~Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting~
It wasn’t quite August, but on Friday I took a mental health day and went for a bike ride. I’m usually never sorry for taking a spin on Kona, but perhaps this day I should have stayed home.
No, I didn’t fall and break a bone.
As I was riding along, I remember having the feeling of being bit around the area of my left shoulder blade. It was a stinging bite, but I assumed it was a mosquito that happened to cling to the human wind break that was moi. So, I shrugged it off and carried on for several more miles until it was time to go home.
I felt a bit itchy Friday night, so asked Natasha to check my back for mosquito bites.
From her mouth…“Oh my God!”
Turns out I must have been attacked by a spider and its legion or some other form of angry being with razor-sharp teeth. Fifteen times. My back looked like a war zone. By Saturday it felt like a war zone. I wanted to take a back scratcher to it and kill everyone. Kill everyone! Instead, I resisted and Natasha played field nurse with antibacterial, anti-itch ointment and a box of Band-Aids. An ice pack and Benadryl on Saturday night were also integral parts of the treatment plan. As I’m writing this post on Sunday afternoon, the itching is less than Saturday, but a few angry spots remain. The Benadryl, ointment and the last of a 60-count box of Band-Aids will reappear before bedtime in the hopes that Monday is itch-free.
The coming of August led me to take a day off and to go for a bike ride. I’m not sorry I did that. I’m only sorry that stupid, angry thing with teeth found me and decided that my blood tasted better than raw chicken or road kill.
Oh, and next time I’ll remember to bring along bug spray. I might be sorry about that omission.
Enjoy the dog days of summer, my northern hemisphere peeps, for August will be gone before we know it and autumn will make its grand, colorful entrance.