The boyfriend and I have started a tradition of taking long walks during the week, partially as an attempt to work off the copious amounts of delicious food we consume on the weekends, but mainly for the opportunity to have a few hours alone as a breather from the rest of the week.
I’ve loved getting a chance to explore the various trails around Austin. Especially at sunset. Sunset makes an already beautiful city look all sparkly and magical.
Last Wednesday we decided to meet at Towne Lake. It was an especially stressful week for me, and since screaming into a pillow and flicking doodle bugs into a gutter did nothing to ease my stress, I decided to head to the trail a little early with a book and a blanket.
Ever since I was a kid, whenever I am stressed, I tend to find comfort in hiding away in the trees. I used to “run away from home” at least once a week-and nearly every time I packed a bag full of kudos and Squeeze its, and squeezed myself into the tiny patch between two trees on the side of my house. I would sit there for about 10 hours (20 minutes) until I got so frustrated that no one in my family even missed me… at which point I would stomp back into the house crying that I had a very long day as run-away and only came home because I knew my dad would let my mice go in the woods if I didn’t come back to save them.
My point is, I still get that feeling of comfort from a tiny secluded hollow – so last Wednesday that’s exactly where I found myself.
It was wonderful.
After about an hour, we took a really long walk around Towne Lake and found a nice little boat dock to watch the bats fly from under the Congress Bridge.
If you aren’t from Austin, (supposedly) during the summer season at sunset-you can go and watch millions of bats fly out from their super secret hide-away under a bridge. I wonder if the bats get the same feeling of comfort under that bridge as I do hiding away in trees. I bet they do.
I say supposedly, because the bats never fucking came. We thought maybe they decided to stop in trees out of site from our secluded boat dock, so eventually went to join the hundreds of other people who were eagerly waiting to watch the bats fly, (because there isn’t anything more exciting than watching rabies soar through the air) but alas, they decided to stay in that night. I tried everything from jumping on the bridge to shake them out, to yelling “hereeee battttty battty battty” with no avail.
I get it though, because sometimes when I’m in a particularly rabid mood, I don’t want to leave the house either. Maybe they were hungover or something.
Or maybe, what Austin needs is a giant Bat signal to tell the bats when it’s time to come out so that they can entertain us humans.
At one point I swore I saw a single bat fly out and hit my boyfriend in the face, so I freaked out at the prospect that he had contracted rabies and would be foaming at the mouth in minutes, but he assured me it was just a giant m0th.
Eventually, we begrudgingly made the trek back to the car-and bats or no bats-it was almost the perfect evening. Except that I couldn’t shake the fact that my boyfriend was probably going to go Cujo bat shit crazy on me, but I decided to just enjoy the time before I had to take him out back and shoot him.
On Thursday evening, I noticed a tiny itchy red spot on my face.
In my usual fashion, I took it repeatedly to the magnified mirror and poked it, and scratched it, and put alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, cortisone, and witch hazel on it until my lip puffed up like a water-filled tampon.
I went to the doctor the next day, and she told me that it looked like a regular upper lip that had been poked and prodded to the state of infection. She gave me a prescription for antibiotics for the infection, and told me I wasn’t allowed to touch my face anymore. Which of course made me want scratch it even more.
At some point during all the scratching, I decided to look for other spots on my body that might be diseased. This, of course included several thorough examinations on my lady parts. Someone made a serious mistake years ago by gifting me the ginormous magnified mirror.
By late Friday evening, all the spots that I had checked earlier for spots now had itchy spots. I went back and forth for hours, trying to decide whether I actually had a rash, or if I was just insane enough to imagine it there.
By Saturday morning there was no question. My face, my chest my legs and my vagina, YES MY VAGINA, was covered in patches of red, puffed out rash.
Of course, I spent the day convinced that I had contracted some horrible, unknown parasite or a rare form of the HIV from a mosquito. We drove around all day looking for places for my sister and I to move in to, but my complete focus was on finding another bathroom so I could check to see if my vagina had grown in size with my handheld magnified mirror. Yet another bad gift for a hypochondriac. Call it irrational, but what would you be thinking if your vagina suddenly puffed up into the size of a roll of quarters?
After a bajillion self examinations and a tear-filled confession to my boyfriend that I probably had a contagious VD, I forced him to take a look for himself.
BF: “You’ve got poison ivy.”
ME: “There’s no way! How would I get poison ivy on my vagina???”
BF:”Well you have a rash on all other parts of your body, have you touched your vagina recently?”
ME: “Well yes, all the time… especially when I’m looking for diseases.
BF: ” Now wouldn’t it be a lot more logical to assume that you got poison ivy from walking in the woods?”
ME: “Ummmm NO, cause your supposed to tell me before I step in poison ivy!!”
So in conclusion, he was right. I have poison ivy. And because I’m so fucking neurotic that I can’t stop examining myself, I spread poison ivy to parts of my body that no plant should ever touch. I almost said “Unless that plant is a feather,” then I remembered a feather isn’t even a plant. These meds are getting to me.
But in even more conclusion, I kind of blame my boyfriend for not pointing out to me that I was stepping in poison ivy. How am I to know which ivies are poisonous? I bet Adam was in charge of telling Eve which ivy plants were safe to put over her hoo hoo.
Regardless, I’ve learned my lesson. For now on, I’m not taking a step in the woods without having him look at every plant that might possibly touch my foot. And also I’m going to stop self examining my vagina. (Unless I have a really good reason, like when toilet water splashes up on me in a public restroom)
PS: Even though I kind of blame my boyfriend for being in the most uncomfortable state of my existence… ( I SERIOUSLY WOULD RATHER HAVE POOP SOUP FOR A MONTH) I have to admit that he’s pretty awesome for putting up with the bitchiest, whiniest, most obnoxious cry baby in the world this weekend. Cause I just don’t do itches, yall.