Hortense

First came delivery of the replacement iPod (which you (re)named Hortense) by the Airborne Express guy who plays NPR at high volume. You can hear his van approaching from several blocks away, Bob Edwards’ voice echoing, disembodied, like a phantom in the early morning haze.

Later, while listening to Concerto in A Minor BWV 593 III. Allegro you shoved your un-gloved hand deep into into the maw of thick, wet soil created by the damaged PVC pipe. Your hand passed through layers of leaves and earth, past small wriggling things and the sensation of being bitten. Like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now, you thought to yourself.

You could feel small things moving, sliding past your fingers beneath the surface. Drawing your hand back for examination, you noted numerous species of insect crawling upon and investigation your hand and arm. Small creatures with pincers on both ends, like vicious centipedes, strode bravely across the length of your palm. Something with spindly legs clambered onto your sleeve. A slug was working its way along your other hand, supporting you in the dirt, while the fire-ants joyously pinched at the underside of your forearm, injecting the poison that would, several minutes later, cause many small, itchy, painful welts to appear and last for days.

Later, the UPS guy silently delivered a whole bunch of lamps.

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