This is my first summer in hot and sunny Florida. I’d like to send the sun packing because I’m not leaving. The only opportunity to exercise without melting into a puddle of sweat is a walk at dawn. No problem; I love dawn.
As the sun comes up one morning, I slip outside and head off on foot. Passing a beautiful flowering bush that looks like a lilac, I pause to smell the blooms, just in case they smell like lilac. Alas, there’s only a faint odor of life.
Suddenly, I feel something creepy on my leg and look down at a four-inch insect clinging to my calf. It looks like an over-sized brown grasshopper. I decide to call him Jiminy Cricket.
Jiminy is holding on and won’t let go, not even when I shake my leg and stomp my foot. My heart begins to pound because this thing is ugly and it’s scratching my leg.
I break a twig off the bush and try to swat Jiminy away. He will not let go. Now I’m getting mad. I pull the leaves off the twig so it’s a short but perfect marshmallow stick. I slide the stick under Jiminy ever so carefully, like I'm playing pickup sticks, and try to flick him away, but it doesn't work.
Half of Jiminy is on my white sock and the other half on my leg. Now I yank him really hard and still he will not let go. He’s like Velcro on steroids. Yanking even harder, I finally dislodge the stubborn insect, but he leaves behind a brown stain on my sock. I think the damn insect crapped on me.
As with the cricket, I've begun to dislodge my " wasband," my husband for more than a decade. I sign walking papers this month. I have been disciplined in my behavior toward him, simply wishing him well without getting embroiled in his anger.
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Instead, I date interesting men, make wonderful new girlfriends and go for summer walks in my new adopted state. I wished upon a star and my dreams are coming true. I have embraced a better life, albeit a sweatier one.
Coming July 16: Intimacy with someone new after decades with someone else.
*Names and identifying information have been changed to protect privacy and security.
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