The truck and dogs were loaded up at o-dark thirty and “wir sind unterwegs” (that’s German for we were under way). It was a beautiful morning. A fresh breeze wafted in from the back windows half rolled down for the dogs and as the sun came up I found myself feeling more and more relaxed and excited for the week.
Molli stuck her head behind my neck between my shoulders and the seat. She used to crawl up there when she was scared as a puppy so I reached up to pet her but she quickly retreated. Then she was back again. I tried to see what was going on and it looked like she saw a fly or maybe a spot from the sun she was trying get then she laid back down and all was calm again.
Content with the trip so far I began to assume the position. You know, right elbow leaning on the center console and left wrist draped about 12:00 on the steering wheel. There was good music on the radio and I was looking pretty kuhl (the traditional c-0-0-l spelling wouldn’t not do it justice). I was nodding my head slightly to the music with a little head sway in there every 4th or 5th beat and admiring the surroundings. There were lush green rolling hills all around, black winding pavement ahead and morning sun aglow. I found myself slowly scanning the horizon. First to the right, still head bobbing and swaying, ever so gently to maintain my kuhl demeanor, then to the left and AHHHHHHH! There’s a bee! On my arm! It was sitting a little down from my left shoulder about 2 inches away from face! Instantly every part of me froze. If you know punch line to the joke about the big mouth frog, that’s the way my face look. Let’s just say “Kuhl” was so yesterday at this point.
It wasn’t moving. Maybe it’s dead. Where did it come from? I remembered Molli rooting behind my neck, she must’ve been after this bee. Then it must’ve been alive and crawled over to my arm. It’s till not moving. Maybe it was alive but crawled over and died. I’m still not moving my arm. Maybe I should flick it off. No! It might hit the window, bounce back into my eye or my mouth and if it’s alive it would surely sting me then. Ok, I need to stay calm, it’s only a bee. The worse that can happen is it stings me, right? I’ve been stung before, it’s not that bad. Besides, I know it doesn’t want to sting and anyway it’s still not moving. I’ll just let it be and when I stop to get gas, I’ll calmly get out of the truck and brush it off.
Now, I probably should’ve just pulled over right then but honestly that did not even cross my mind until I started writing this.
Ignoring the stationary bee, I try to go back to my drive but am unable to keep my mind from racing. And now I’m super conscious of every little tickle on my back. Are there more? I don’t know how I picked this one up, maybe I picked up more, maybe there’s a swarm back there. Don’t lean back! Don’t lean back! I want to lean back! Finally subdued by the realization If there were more, Molli would still be back there trying to get them, I lean back and try to relax.
15-20minutes go by and the bee hasn’t moved. It’s gotta be dead, right? I start to relax.
Another 10 minutes and IT’S MOVING! First towards my face! It quickly turns around and starts running down my arm then under my arm. I lift my arm up. If it gets stuck between my arm and side I know it’ll sting me. Now I’m driving with one arm in the air like I’m holding a lighter at a concert. It’s still moving. I have to do something. I bring my knees up to steer and reach my right hand over to unroll the window. I push through the worry that the wind may blow it back into my eye or mouth and slowly roll down the window and maneuver my arm out the window. And, whew, the bee is gone.
And as is typical to my constantly racing mind, I start wonder how this incident may have some broader meaning for my life, what’s the morale, what have I gained … I got nuth’n! But I still do love a road trip!
Happy 4th! Bee safe and kind to bees ;-)