Tick Tock in the City

This is not the actual tick. It is a posed tick.

There was a tick on my neck and so, now, I can think of little else.

Before I felt something on my neck and picked the tick off and looked at it wiggling its tiny legs in a desperate attempt to free itself and return to the juiciness of my neck and I subsequently squashed the tick with a tin of Burt’s Bees Hand Salve, I’d felt another something else moving, very likely the squashed tick’s comrade, but swept it away with a single flick. That tick is still roaming my environs.

I yelled for my husband who inspected my neck and head – thank goodness for extremely short hair – and then he pretended to see a tick on the floor which he quickly picked up with a wad of fuzz from the dog’s bed. I then took the world’s hottest shower and washed my hair three times. Then, because I told him there was another tick on the loose, he gave my office chair a serious 10-second look and went back to the ball game.

There is a lot of drama here, most of it unappreciated.

Anyway, this tick didn’t land on me because I was hiking or birdwatching or hanging around in the forest. It landed on me because I was gardening, something I said I would never again do. Because there were weeds and vines growing every which way and just a lot of unruliness in the garden, I bought a new pair of Fiskar’s pruning shears, put on my canvas hat and heavy gardening gloves, and set to it. I pulled a dozen giant, thorny, freakish dandelion-looking weeds and then pulled vines out of my pine trees, trimmed up the driveway, and spread a bag of mulch around some of my hostas. My hostas. Listen to that.

Anyway, the payback for all this earnest gardening behavior is a tick on my neck. As if I needed another reason to make my divorce from gardening final.

In other news, I am appreciating again that the man across the street fixed the busted steps to his porch by putting down boards of varying lengths, so his stairs now look like a xylophone. Most people would probably saw the boards to make them all the same length, but really, what is the point of that other than rigid conformity to the unspoken expectations of judgmental neighbors? He never says anything about my garden.


Photo by Erik Karits on Unsplash

5 Comments on “Tick Tock in the City

  1. Ah… Your evocative writing and lively metaphors keep pulling back the covers of old memories. This time of ticks. (one swollen in my belly button – one the size of a marble that fell off a dog in the vet clinic) Thanks for writing and thanks for listening! Ticks. Icks.

  2. It’s been a hell of a year for ticks this year, so far nothing in the garden, but no hiking in the woods.

  3. I don’t like this at all. I might have to move if I suspected even one tick moving into my apartment…just waiting for the perfect moment

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