Friday, August 31, 2012

Elizabethtown North Carolina

I have, as of this morning, 39 mosquito bites, 7 red ant bites, and 2 hickeys. Everything in North Carolina is trying to eat me. It's hurricane season, which means it rains every 30 minutes, and the plants have become predatory, they are swollen with hunger and need, and they desire only to take over everything in that single minded way that all plants have, the personality of pioneers. Mine Mine Mine every tree and vine and flowering shrub is screaming. Walking down the street, it's easy to understand why we once conceived of sentient jungle vines that carried us away into the darkness. I think given half a chance, every piece of foliage I pass would happily strangle me and bury me deep in its roots for food. 

Rural North Carolina gives the impression of familiarity. Oh yeah, looks just like Ohio. Only something isn't quite right, something's off. The picture leaves an uneasiness in the corner of your eye, and if you look closely  enough, you'll realize that the trees are wrong. The leaves are wrong, the trunks are too skinny, there's a weird fluffiness on the pine trees, and the weeds are tinged with yellow instead of the natural Ohio blue tone that makes our greens so green. I think the yellow tone comes from being so close to the ocean, it's the suction of salt through the ground, the ocean air. If Ohio's greens have grown to match the deep glacial blue of Lake Erie, then these greens are made to match the lighter aqua gray blue of the ocean and lightest sand, a color that I hadn't expected to be different, but was in fact a shock, a blue brand new to the girl from the bluest state. 

It's best to not fight against the burgeoning verdure, it comes steady and creeping territorial, not a disease, but a super power, a mutation in the genetic code of the scenery, a latent metabolic push. It's greedy, selfish, devoid of care or hesitation. It takes over buildings before they've even fallen down, wraps them in thick vegetative walls that keep them standing even though they want to die. This is pure natural ambition. Taking the heat, the humidity, and absorbing it, letting the nutrition soak into every pore, letting nothing go, using every last bit. Someday there will be another summer drought, and unless you've grown as big as you could when you had a chance, you will shrivel and die on the vine, turning into mulch for the newer growths. 

I need to stop letting things bite me. That's 46 holes in my body through which the world sucked out blood to feed on. 

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