Sleeping With Serpents And Chiggers




South Carolina
May ‘77

I got off that highway as fast as I could, and the rest of the day
went pretty well (if you call pedaling another 80 miles in 115 degree
heat– while wearing a blue jean jacket– well). South Carolina was
pretty (if you call swampy, desolate, pretty), but it was a little
scary because of all the poisonous snakes. I haven’t seen any live
gators (one dead), but biking along the highway I did see the largest
non-zoo snake ever. It was 4 or 5 inches around and about 6 feet long.
It was moving just off the highway at about the same speed I was
biking. I switched gears and left the snake behind.

The whole snake thing, to say the least, made camping along the
highway a bit precarious, which brings me to the point: I’m sitting
here in my tent, fifty or so miles out of Charleston, nursing my sunburn
and writing in my journal. I feel like a little kid hiding his head under his
blanket for protection. This was the best spot I could find to put up my
tent– in the middle of bottomland, in the middle of nowhere, in the
middle of snake country. I know the critters are not far off. When I
think of a snake slithering under my tent, I get the heebe jeebies. Oh
well, such is life! Last night for dinner, I had a quart of beer, a
can of cold spaghetti and bread. Tonight I’m having carrots, bread,
and water. I wonder if the magazine, Good Housekeeping, would be
interested in a few diet tips?

P.S. Snapping Chiggers off my tent screen with my fingers. Goodnight
for now. See you tomorrow, I hope.

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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2 Responses to Sleeping With Serpents And Chiggers

  1. hugmamma says:

    Another great piece of writing! Love your conversational style. Feels like I’m on the road with you, even though I’m sitting at my keyboard fiddling with this and that on WordPress. Now that’s an adventure of another kind…

    yours sounds like more fun. 😉

  2. eof737 says:

    Urgh! and that is why I don’t like camping… ;-(

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