The rain finally came in this afternoon. It patters down, it falls gently, it is a soft gray curtain around my world. The wild birds do not mind it. The chickens, on the other hand, come up to the kitchen porch and sit out of it, Elvis bedraggled, his fancy feathers an old sorcerer's cape, none the better for wear.
Still, he is my noble rooster.
If Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday were days of pricking nerves and anxiety, today has been a day of contentment, of peace. On my walk I encountered the Sheik. "You running late today," he said. "Yes I am," I told him. "And who cares?"
He told me that yesterday he'd heard a woman screaming and he'd hoped it hadn't been me.
"If it had been, you'd have come to save me, right?"
He assured me would, although I rather doubt it. I think, however, he would have taken note.
Ms. Liola came out of her trailer home to talk to me and I stopped to chat. She gave me a hug! The first time ever. She was so glad to see me because she, too, had heard the woman yesterday. Turns out she and The Sheik had worried over me.
"You seen her yet this morning?" the Sheik had asked her.
"Not yet," she had told him.
It was nice to know that I'd been worried about. That they were concerned. I hope that whoever the screaming woman was is okay, too.
I told Ms. Liola that if I see anyone whom I do not know and who raises my hackles, I just turn around and go the other way.
She agreed that was the right thing to do.
We are so different, Ms. Liola and I. She is dark-skinned, I am light. I doubt she ever went to college. She lives in a single-wide and I live in a big house that I would not be surprised to find out that some of her forebearers built. When they were slaves.
And yet, we have so much to talk about. So much common ground. She loves her yard, the blooming flowers as do I. She wants to plant a little garden. She is talking about starting to keep a few chickens. I showed her the picture of Nicey on my shoulder and she got a kick out of that. We both grew up on dirt roads, playing hopscotch and marbles in them. We climbed trees as kids, we ran in the woods. She has grands, I have grands.
We never run out of things to talk about.
We hugged again before I proceeded on my way. I apologized for my smell. I do sweat when I walk. She said it did not matter and I don't think it did to her.
I need to take her some eggs, some mustards from the garden before they all bolt and are gone.
I love living in this community where we are so mixed, so different, yet in some ways, so much the same.
I went to Publix but they had no wild shrimp and I refuse to eat shrimp farmed in Thailand or somewhere far across the world. Fuck no. So I drove the miles to Mike's seafood which started out in the Oriental market next door to it in the strip mall with The Dollar Store, CiCi's Pizza, and the Big Lots. The seafood market outgrew the oriental market although I know they still own it. It was packed at 2:00 on a Friday afternoon. Everyone in Tallahassee must be eating seafood tonight. People were buying grouper and salmon and oysters and bay scallops and crabs and lobsters and one lady dragged her ice chest in there. It was like a party, those of us waiting in line, visiting with each other. Talking about what we were going to do with our particular seafood purchases, perusing the vast selection of crab boils, seasonings, grits, corn meal, hot sauces.
I got two pounds of head-on Gulf shrimp, right from the Apalachicola bay. They are still on ice in my refrigerator and I am going to cook them tonight.
That's the view from the front porch where Mr. Moon and I just had a martini. Our Friday nights are so special. We sit and we talk about all the stuff that's important that just doesn't come up during the week, somehow. I read him the comment that Hank wrote on my post yesterday about divorce.
Can I say that there are almost always tears on our Friday nights?
They are good tears. They are tears of heart-filling-up-and-spilling over.
And now, y'all, I am going to go pop those shrimp heads. I've got brown rice on and I do believe I am going to make some spicy mustard shrimp which is one of the most delicious things I make. The rain patters, it has been a very, very good day here in Lloyd, where I live, which is the tiniest place you can imagine, a flashing red light in the road, a truck stop and a post office and a place where we sit and watch the rain off the front porch, where the oak trees rise up in branchy skeletons, adorned with new-made leaves and Spanish Moss. Where we can stop and talk to neighbors about things that matter.
Where my heart overfills with it all as I discuss grandchildren and soul-things with my husband on a Friday night and the church next door wails with drum and bass and soprano and if we do create our own reality, I done real good.