Gone Swimming (don’t know if I’ll be back)

Published 10 August 2012 by Miss Dilly

Itching and regretting are great ways to wrap up a night.   I realize that could get very dirty, very fast but I’m afraid today this is not a sex story.  I know many of you might have a life on Saturday night, but I had no plans, no prospects and no work last weekend.  So around 8:30 I decide that I wanted to go swimming.  I choose a spot I had never been before.  I walked out the door and down the block to catch a bus and it crossed my mind that I may have forgotten to lock the apartment.  I should have gone back while I had the chance.

From the bus it was a twenty minute walk to get to the lake.  The sun was setting, the sky was beautiful, the weather was comfortable and I was looking forward to a swim.  I get down to the water and there’s people swimming about, eating picnics, tossing a Frisbee, a classic summer scene.  I sat down on the outskirts watching, okay lets me honest, glaring.  I wanted these people to go home.  Wasn’t it time for them to fall asleep on the couch watching Disney movies with their hyped up kids only to be woken up the dog licking their faces instead of their long-detached-yet-what-they-believed-to-be-suitable mate?

At some point I decided the time was right.  I stripped to my bathing suit. Went down to the water, and waded in quickly. The water was the perfect temperature after warming all day.  As soon as I started swimming a tornado of black bugs swarmed my face.  I splashed water around and they backed off some, but stay close enough that when my arms tired they could pounce on my soft, vulnerable flesh. At the rate I was going, it would be a matter of seconds for that to happen.  Somehow my legs pushed me forward, as I got farther out the number of insects died down, leaving a few brave ones hoping for their big break.  I felt a gentle caress on my leg, and then another and then something fuzzy and I’m kicking around as if Bruce himself, the almighty Jaws, was biting my leg.  All I can think of is Creature of the Black Laguna grabbing me and pulling me underwater to his grotto. So I attempt to avoid the seaweed and god knows what else by planking in the water (I’m, like, totes, like, cool – so why not kill two birds with one stone?).

My experience exactly!

There was a wooden dock in the middle of the water, only reachable by swimming. It may have been my only salvation, so I swam another 50 feet and reached it.  There were ducks following me and the bugs had returned.  I climb out, hoping I had bested them both.  Alas, duck poop coated the entire surface of the dock and the bugs only seemed to be bigger and meaner on top.  I pace, trying to not to be eaten alive, I think maybe there is a corner of paradise somewhere on this island.  I look down and two large black insects have landed on my shoulder and chest.  I blow and flick and jump around, utilizing all my knowledge of outdoor survival skills in one grand swoop.  I decide it’s safer in the water than out. That, and to get back I had to swim.  I wobbled down the step latter, turned to gently easy myself in and do a face-plant right through the cloud of bugs to the duck poop infested waters where the lake’s hands-y seaweed feels me up.  I come up sputtering and in full motion.  There was no time to lose.  I swam back, continuously flipping from my stomach, to my right side, to my back, to left side trying to avoid the seaweed touching me in one place too long.  Had anyone observed me I probably looked like I was trying to launch myself to space via aqua-duck method, if such a thing existed.  I finally got enough close to shore to stand, as I dragged myself out of the water I stubbed my toe on the loose rocks and trip once again reuniting me with my  perpetrator.  A couple that was standing not ten feet away audibly laughs.

I sit and air dry for a few minutes reflecting on my near death experience, admittedly a bit sad that my life didn’t flash before my eyes.  I decided I wanted to take off my suit. So I get up and go the restroom. As I’m changing, I look at the inside of the bathing suit top and it has a layer of green goo covering the material.  And then in the bottoms there are green clumps all over.  My mouth is frozen in an ‘eww’ position.  I don’t even know where I should start the worry –Skin infection? A rash? Uncontrollable bowels? Bad hair days for the rest of my life? I might have to get married someday? Gross!

As the generally known, yet unspoken, bathroom law goes, a woman entered the stall right next to me despite four others completely unoccupied. So I have a bit of fun with her, I ring out my suit onto the ground, it makes the perfect noise and splashes, I’m pretty sure a little bit of water got on her toes and I could hear the lady make a sound as she thinks someone is peeing on the floor.  I smile.  I walk out of the bathroom with the grace of a drag queen after a long night of disco dancing, sans glitter and with an itchy bum instead.

 

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A Girl Walks into a…

Published 29 July 2012 by Miss Dilly

I had commuted a long way to the industrial part of town for a job interview.  It was made up of glamorous freeway underpasses, dazzling cement as far as the eye can see and rusting machinery and run down factory buildings beckoning this young lady with a  ‘come hither look’.  I dressed well, if I do say so myself.  Wore a dress, Mary Janes, makeup- the whole shebang.  I took more than my usual 10 minute routine for this event and I was rewarded.  Not how I would have expected though. 

I finished the interview and am walking back to the bus stop.  The closest is about a 10 minute walk.  Construction is going on and there is a foreboding white and red sign on the stop’s pole.  Indeed, the stop is closed and it tells me arbitrary street names as if I’m supposed to have GPS in my brain.  On the ride there I noticed the bus went straight down the same street straight for several blocks so I figured I would walk down to the next one.  I set out on my walk.  I’ve learned that street blocks become longer and more desolate in industrial wastelands. There weren’t any turnoffs and no sidewalk really, so I walk off the street separated by a ‘cement fence’ (a precaution I took despite the lack of dangerous traffic).  I stop and look at some cool graffiti on the building along the street.  The side bar is getting smaller and smaller so I straddle the fence, which is no easy task in a dress might I add, and hop the rest of the way over.  I walk a few feet and in the distance I can see car coming towards me, it morphs into a cop car.  At the back of my mind I recall passing sign nailed down that said:

NO TRESPASSING.

NO UNAUTHORIZED MOTOR VEHICLES, MOTOR BIKES, MOPEDS, ETC.

VIOLATORS SHALL BE PROSECUTED PURSUANT TO THE PENAL LAW.

I hadn’t really registered that I was doing something wrong.  I still kind of figured he’d have more important things to do than hunt me down.  He slows down and gets out of the car, I stop.  He’s a middle aged man with a beer gut and a shining bald head. 

He says to me, “What are you doing Miss?”

Do you know that reaction where you just want to cry?  I don’t like to admit this and it doesn’t happen very often but, that was my first feeling.  So I slapped my emotions upside the head and didn’t shed a tear. 

Without hesitation I respond saying “I was looking for the next bus stop, the one back there was closed”. 

He asks what direction I’m going and a few other things, I answer as innocently as possible and expressing my lack of knowledge that I wasn’t supposed to be walking here.  He believed me, I believed me- which is good since it was the truth.  He mulls over my situation, while I’m standing there sweltering in the heat, my calves are dirty from the climb over, and I’m considering if at that point I should say that I do have a star trek transporter but I just wanted to walk for kicks.

Beam me up Scotty.

The policeman says he’ll drive me to the next bus stop.  At the back of my mind there’s a part of me that feels reluctant to get in the back of any car, no matter how safe a black and white ford with bars and locks appear to be.  But as the saying goes, I was stuck between a rock and a hard place.  I got in the back of the police car.  We don’t talk.  My knees are practically squished up to my chin and I am surprised at the cleanliness of the back seat.  Through the grates I watch his screen saver, pictures flick by of hunting, barbecues and sexy women.  Classic.  Thank god he didn’t have pictures of metaphysical symbols and people doing yoga- that would have completely shattered all my treasured stereotypes of policemen. 

The drive doesn’t take long at all.  He pulls up at the bus stop.  He says “these people are going to think you’re a hardened criminal”.  I laugh.  He has to open the door for me and says have a good day.  I apologize again and thank him.

I get out, observe the lovely 7 onlookers staring at me, walk over to benches as if this is a regular occurrence and stand at the bus stop.  I surely hope they thought I was a hardened criminal. 

How to Lose Friends (and make smelly ones)

Published 28 May 2012 by Miss Dilly

Shocking, I know, I do make friends.  But here’s an easy* way I’ve learned to get rid of them, if one really must.

Go snorkeling.  You make new friends easy on the boat ride out, like a girl who realized her bikini top did come off when she dived from that high rock.  Everyone agrees to swim together and take pictures of each other.  Then you dive in and the world becomes quiet. And you can’t really turn you head too much because you’re snorkel will dip into the water and clog you breathing tube proving that you aren’t the Aquaman afterall.  The water moves gently and you float absentmindly enjoying the underwater world rivaling Seaworld by a mile and a half.  So as I’m swimming around it crosses my mind that I haven’t seen anyone in a while, so I pop up and I’m alone.  It’s great, I don’t want to worry about where other people are and making I have enough pictures to show people, I want to enjoy the few hours I’ve got in this new underwater world.

So I lost a few human friends but I made a few smelly ones, they’re awesome.

One of my favorites. There was a plethora of these fish but their colors were amazing!

The zebra fish. I was taking a picture of their group and on my screen one was really close, I was like this is going to be a great picture! Then I realized it was in between my camera and my face!

Fishy 🙂

Fish hiding in the coral. I have so many pictures, it was so difficult to just pick a few to post.

Can’t remember it’s real name so it shall be called Massive Fish. I like this picture since the guide gives an excellent size reference!

*Easy of course if you can jump on a plane, train or automobile and get snorkeling.  Now isn’t that easy?

It is better to keep your mouth closed…

Published 6 May 2012 by Miss Dilly

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt”

 – Mark Twain

Oh wise words, if only I had followed them for once.  I was on campus, exiting the ladies restrooms.  It was one of those awkward door opening moments where someone is standing right on the other side, and the awkwardness continued as we tried to figure out who was going where.  This was the first time I actually kind of looked at the person.  It was a guy! Young, somewhat effeminate with short hair, baggy jeans, sweatshirt and glasses.  In those brief moments I debated saying something, sometimes people just get confused and accidently go to the wrong side, but ‘No’, I think, ‘it could be a guy who identifies as a female and who am I to say anything..?’ We’re lucky, in the ladies room we have stalls so it doesn’t really matter anyways.  As I pass by and hold the door for him, he takes it, I walk a step he’s just holding the door to walk in. I open my mouth and remove all doubt of my being a fool.

I say “Do you know this is the ladies bathroom?”

He says “I know. I’m… “ and gestures to their chest and then kind of mumbles something that indicates that he is in fact a she.  I am mortified.  She could totally read it on my face.

She says “it’s okay, it’s probably my hair and stuff”

Me – “I’m so sorry”

Her – “it’s okay”

Me – “I’m sorry” and do a little head bow, to emphasize my sorry-ness.

I walked away, so embarrassed.  And as life normally does, I now see her around campus fairly regularly.

The Hike of Death

Published 17 April 2012 by Miss Dilly

I took this one! The actual day of horror (and only here shall I admit, some enjoyment).

 Before I go on, like all my stories, the title was the most frightening part.  I tend to exaggerate and probably have let a lot people down with the fact that I didn’t actually almost die.  But never mind that, keep reading, who knows what could happen.  I’ll die someday.

This is another Australia story.  As many have probably heard Australia has some of the most dangerous animals in the world.  And like the paranoia of being caught wearing mismatching socks by Tim Gunn, I was a tad worried of these famous buggers.

Now I hadn’t completely willingly signed up for this bush walk.  There was an information session.  And let me tell you- they are fronts, not for human trafficking, but clever plots to force people to experience nature whatever the cost.  I went by myself, it was in the upstairs of some rickety building.  There was loads of people there actually (a good ruse to throw me off the kidnapping track) and three small tables with 55 plus year old men sitting at each one.  They tell you about the various places they’re going, about the guides and the difficulty, blah blah blah.  Here’s where it gets crafty, he says to me ‘it’s an 18 K (about 11 miles) walk with hills and maybe would I like to go on the beginner one instead?’ Pft! I say I’m a third of your age and have been hiking since I’ve 6, I think I can handle it.  Okay, I’m much more polite in person, but he still had me right where he wanted me- the ego trip.  The next thing I know I’m thirty dollars poorer and awake at a god forsaken hour where I am loading on the bus with the other sad saps.

The group contained a variety of people. Some other visitors in this dangerous land, a few veterans of bushwalking and the locals who decided they wanted to get out of the city and meet people, generally in the 40-60 year age range.  A very friendly woman sat next to me on the bus, we talked about lots of things.  I’ve never had a problem with talking with people older than me, I always find they have so many more stories to tell.  And older generations don’t normally tell their stories like they’re trying to show you up and try to prove their life is so much more exciting than mine.  I also get to avoid the annoying drunk stories where the young story teller always has this strange juxtaposition of ‘I did something pretty bad and I’m ashamed, but it’s so funny and cool, obviously.’ Then they look at me ‘like why aren’t you laughing?’ Oh yeah I forgot, I just thought you were being an idiot.  ‘Ha ha’.

So after a couple hours on the bus we arrive and start the hike.  The environment is so unique.  I love it.  Do you know what is also unique?  Leeches.  It was a heavily treed area and a fairly moist day.  You walk, minding your own business and leeches fall from the leaves and land on your hand, arm, neck, leg – any exposed skin and suck your blood.  I kid you not.  They’re the size of your pinky and are dark black.  The key is to let them finish their business because if you knock them off before they’re done you just bleed and bleed. When they finish they will clot the bite so they can save you for an after dinner snack.  As you may have guessed, you shrewd reader you, the reason I know this is because not 10 minutes into the walk I was visited by the leech from hell.  I was agile; the first thing I did was scream.  The second thing was wave my hand back and forth wishing it away.  The third was flicking it off with my other hand.  Luckily I actually saved myself, it hadn’t bitten me yet. I laugh, recovering quickly, hiding my inner torment at the incident.  Everyone had a nice laugh at me and we walked on.

Brown Snake. Sound innocent? Look innocent? Think again! One of Australia's most dangerous snakes.

Farther down the way we’re getting spread few and far between.  There is a bit of a commotion up a head and the few people I’m with as well as myself have no idea what they’re saying.  One person stays behind and as we approach they put their hands out like they’re about to stop a train and say quietly there’s a snake on the trail.  We all freeze.  Looking around, I don’t see anything, which is not exactly a good sign.  I say ‘where is it?’ she put down her crossing guard hands and looks around.  The lady literally shrugs, says ‘walk carefully’ and walks off.  I mean I don’t think she realized that she just created an invisible wall that none of us really wanted to cross after that.  I mean what if the snake leaped (yes leaped with legs) out of the long side grass as we passed? An older man who hadn’t heard about the snake passes us and walks on by.  We hold our breath and say goodbye- he was a brave man who gave his life so we could pass and continue on our walk.  But he lives (major plot twist, I know)! So a couple people tread carefully, then this Irish lady I had been talking with goes and then I follow.  I didn’t want to be the last one, that’s always a bad sign in horror movies – I’ve done my homework. I thought I heard a rustle as I walk by and I peer closely, well as closely as one can when one is dashing by like a maniac.  I’m convinced the snake was still there and I’m also convinced it was Australia’s deadliest snake.

The next scariest thing was a hiker’s worst nightmare.  Blisters.  I was borrowing hiking boots, not a very good idea at all. Stupid, stupid, stupid, in fact. If you learn anything from my story today- never borrow shoes for an 18K hike it’s just… anyone, anyone? Yep, stupid.  Remember that first 10 minutes?  Well my heels were already rubbing.  By the second hour I was in agony, limping.  I brought up the end and I’m surprised I made the whole walk without taking off my shoes.  I didn’t look, I did not want to see the horrible wounds I had inflicted upon myself.  Some people cut their wrists, I do blisters apparently.  As much as I love complaining to my friends, I try not to inflict it on the general population.  So no one really knows that my feet are killing me so much. Towards the end one of the guides comes to me and says ‘can you go a little faster, please?’ I was in the back straggling with the dreamy eyed metaphysical-ist and the out of shape Hawaiian shirt grandpa.  So when he said this to me I must admit I felt a bit targeted – what about these guys?! ‘No! I’m not going to go any faster, you don’t know the pain I’m in and you hat is bothering me’.  Obviously, I am much more polite in person because I cannot really ever come up with witty poignant comebacks.  When we were back on the bus, I take off my shoes and peel off my socks which are sticking to the back of my feet.  The blisters cover my entire heels and they’re ripped open and honestly just sad looking.

So I made it out alive, by a fairly wide hair, but a hair none the less.  When I got home, I was changing out of my muddy clothes and on the back of my right calf I found a lovely reminder of the day: a large dried blob of blood and then tracks of blood down my leg.  The second leech from hell had been more successful than the first. Brilliant.

Disclaimer: This isn’t my mother, really

Published 9 April 2012 by Miss Dilly

“Your sister’s a bitch.” 

I was happily eating chips and yellowish, liquid, food-ish thing that passes for cheese (which can, sadly completely make my day), when I nearly choked on my last bite.  I turn casually around and see this woman. Small in stature and very lean, made up and dressed too young for her age.  Looked like one of those ladies who carries an oversized rat in her handbag and looks in the mirror and says something like “people are lucky to know you”.  I smirk to myself and continue to listen to her conversation.  She’s talking to her son, and ranting about something her daughter did.  I’m not even sure what it was.  I do remember thinking that she probably created a mini-me and couldn’t understand for the life of her why the girl was being so awful now.  People really are a mystery. 

I Choose to Believe

Published 31 March 2012 by Miss Dilly

Every once and a while things happen that we’d all probably rather forget.  Now I love driving.  I don’t so much like getting where I’m going as much as the ride there. Looking out the window, watching other cars, listening to music, signing loudly and just the general act of driving- it all thrills me. Many of the lovely drivers who gesture rudely, yell profanities, go below the speed limit or cut you off and then brake here in the US surprisingly don’t really know how to drive roundabouts.  I don’t want to seem like I have a huge ego, but I know how use a roundabout (and if you think so anyway, don’t worry my actions should compensate for the audacity of my claiming to know how to drive in a roundabout).

So one afternoon I was driving a friend home, and we approach a roundabout.  We’re talking about Kirk and why he hadn’t called her back and I was enthusiastically spouting my theory that he probably actually had been abducted by Hannibal Lector, who was enjoying his brain at the moment (what little there was of it) with a nice Chianti. We had watched it recently and I couldn’t even walk her out to her car that night, so at the time it seemed like a possibility, I’m sorry.  Anyways, I slow down as I approach the roundabout, finishing up my theory, I didn’t see a car so I gas it, I feel the car sway a little as I make the tight turn.  There was an extra-long beat as I wait for her to reply.  I look over and her hands are in little fists, squeezed tightly and the expression on her face looks as if she’s just been accused of beastiality.  I look in my rearview mirror and there’s a little red car on my my tail so close that I can’t see their headlights with this girl driving who is rudely gesturing and making mean faces. 

I start to laugh, “where did you she come from?”  My friend wasn’t quite as amused, she doesn’t really say anything.  I say “they weren’t there when I pulled out were they?” She nods and looks at me like—as one would expect I suppose—I nearly killed her.  I shake my head and laugh a little uncertain this time.  I had been pretty sure there wasn’t anyone there, I wasn’t that into my silly story. 

I say “No, I don’t think they were.  Whatever, they weren’t.”

She recovered a little and laughed and shook her head saying, “Nooo I’m pretty sure they were”.  

I retort “I choose to believe that car was not there.” Case closed.  Now, we use that saying once and a while, try it sometime just say “I choose to believe…” and magically history uses a Pink Pearl eraser and gets rid of your life blemish.

So, apparently once and a while I am one of those drivers who don’t know how to use a roundabout, it was a sad day.  A scrape with death really wisens one, I learned how to make excuses and not take responsibility for my actions- it’s great.