In my front yard a couple of weeks ago, I worked hard pulling up all the nasty weeds that flourished from my neglect of the garden throughout the entire summer. It was serious labor. It was a legitimate work out, y'all.
Later that evening, feeling that sense of accomplishment one feels from both meaningful physical activity and a successfully finished project, I sat on the couch with my feet up and a blanket over me, watching t.v. Slowly, I began to notice the beginning tickles of a bug bite on the back of my ankle. And then another on the top of my foot and then another. The more aware I became of it, the more bug bites I began to discover. I think there were six or seven on my two feet. Gross.
This reminded me of the time I had chicken pox. Well, I believe Monty had it first; then Chantel, then me, then finally Chalon. I might have the order wrong, but in a short period time we had a little chicken pox pandemic going on at my Gram's house, where my cousins and I all went after school when we were kids. I remember the discovery ("Is this it...? Is that a... a chicken pock?"), I remember how my mom fretted over me and made me not want to get better because I liked the attention, and I remember Calomine lotion, that pinkish white stuff with its distinctive smell that sat in my nose, taunted me into wanting to actually taste it even though I knew it would be disgusting. I could never bring myself to do it, thank God. And I remember the oatmeal mix. Now that I wouldn't be surprised if I had eaten... Terrible!
I'm sure I must have felt sick and miserable. Chicken pox are no joke, after all. But seriously, all I remember now is that my cousins and I still got to play together because we all had it, so there was no harm. And I remember sitting on the floor at Gram's house, with blankets all over me, just straight chillin. When people reminisce about the 80s, I think about stuff like that time we all got the chicken pox. Must have been '86. I feel like that music video for the song Supersonic was out and I can picture us singing, "the S is for super and the U is for unique, the P is for perfection and you know that we are freaks..." and I can see the adults looking at each other because they hated for us to say the word "freaks" but they wouldn't explain why.
Ahh, good times. I don't know why I'm writing about that! Except that it's funny how one thing can take you all the way back to some other, seemingly completely random thing. And it's interesting how sometimes the most draining and miserable experiences can be mitigated, even transformed into wonderful memories, just by the sheer presence of good company and loving people.