Although we’ve always felt we have little in common, Dearly Beloved and I feel it gives symmetry to our marriage. One of us is usually heading out toward left field as the other moves right. In my mind, I picture that we’re constantly drawing ♥s like that.
For instance, when he was looking for something in the freezer and forgot that he’d set a frozen pizza atop the fridge until he discovered it until the next day…? That was the very same time I discovered that yes, I had bought celery at the grocery store after all–I’d just absent-mindedly stuck it in the freezer.
See what I mean…? One giveth, one taketh away. Symmetry. It works for us. We know what the other one is thinking. Crazy thoughts.
Then again, there are days like yesterday.
I was outside in the morning, deadheading flowers and pulling the weeds from between the slate stepping stones along the garden path, pretending they wouldn’t be back the next day. Maybe they thrive on dog pee because truly, any time you look, there they are.
So I was out there in the pollen, the weeds, and the spent flowerheads, on my hands and knees, a little dizzy from looking down so long. I sat back on my heels to admire my Encore azalea that is blooming like it wasn’t 102 degrees earlier this week while I gave the stuffy crap in my sinuses time to resettle before I stood.
That azalea was in a quart pot when I bought and planted it between the dogwood and pine trees in a tree well we had to build when we changed the topography of that part of the garden. It was a happy match, for the three have thrived in that rock-lined hole.
It isn’t unusual for the pine tree to drop a limb and at first glance, that is what I thought I was seeing in the well. At second glance… now standing, about to reach in and pull out the dead branch, I saw that it wasn’t a dead anything… it was a very live snake.
Dearly Beloved says that I exaggerate, so let me be precise: it wasn’t quite the size of my wrist, but if it tried to crawl through an empty toilet paper roll, it would get stuck there.
I backed away and hurried to the sunroom door, beckoning for DB to come outside. Although I thought I was calm and collected at the time, in retrospect I may have appeared a little wild-eyed because he came out at once, not even arguing that I was taking him away from Hour 350 of the British Open on TV. (Okay, THAT is an exaggeration. But not much.)
He looked down into the hole and said, “Copperhead. I need to kill it.”
For some reason I, who doesn’t know doodledly squat about snake identification said, “Are you sure? I don’t want to bother it if it’s not poisonous.”
While I’d like for you to think that I am such a lover of creation that I was concerned about the snake, it was more of a case of not wanting to believe that I’d been on my knees less that two feet away from a large copperhead.
“It’s not a King snake. It’s a copperhead,” DB answered. “You stay here and I’ll put on my shoes and get a shovel.”
I ran inside, grabbed my camera from the end table in the sunroom, and was back by the tree well in less than a minute. The snake had disappeared. As DB came hurrying through the gate I shrugged my shoulders and called out, “It’s gone.”
“Where did it go?”
I stood there with my mouth open. How would I know?
“Maybe it went behind those rocks?” I offered helpfully.
Get this: The man actually said to me, “I told you to stay here and watch it.”
I felt like Vinny Gambini after the judge sent him to jail for not wearing a suit to court. “You were SERIOUS about that?!”
What the hell did he think I was going to do? Offer it a snack to hang around? Tackle it?
“I wanted you to watch where it went, in case it moved.”
Amazing that he thought that would ever happen even in his wildest imaginings.
Stay there and watch. Hah! I would be more apt to agree to have sex under a traffic light on Main Street.
Just so we’re clear, THAT’S an exaggeration, but frankly, now that I’ve given it some thought, I’m pretty sure that if that copperhead tried to wear my watch, it would pinch him around his middle.