Once Bitten Twice Shy
I blame my father for my third spider bite in July. Same leg. Thigh. Back of knee. Front of thigh, just above the knee.
Dad distracted me, the third time.
I sat at an outdoor picnic table. Awaiting barbecue pork made in heaven. Or Hemingway, South Carolina (which is decidedly NOT heaven in July or any other season.)
Dad must’ve tired of talking to strangers inside Scott’s BBQ, because he shambled across the highway and teetered next to me. “What’re you doing out here, huh?”
“There’s a line out the door, so I thought I’d leave space for someone else.”
“Uh-huh. Me too.”
Dad stepped over the bowed, single-slat seat, and I held my breath. Waited to hear the shriek of rotted wood as Dad’s I-Don’t-Know-How-Many-Pound-Backside careened into the helpless bench of the picnic table.
Instead, the world tilted sideways. In slow motion, one side of the table levitated above the dirt and reached its bench-like arm toward the sky. With a laugh, it ground Dad and me into the dusty, barbecue-strewn earth.
My skirt flew up.
A thirteen-old-boy saw.
Between the time I yanked my skirt back down and wiggled over to Dad, whose mouth was working like a surprised fish, the spider left its pinprick on my leg. I didn’t notice the bite, because I was too busy laughing at Dad’s face.
Or in his face.
“I can’t get up.”
“Well, I can’t GET you up, Old Man. I mean……um……..”
A stranger wrestled Dad to his unsteady feet. I knocked most of the dried grass and dirt off his hindquarters. We moved to the other picnic table and pretended like nothing happened.
Only the spider bite reminded me.