Yesterday, I planted a hibiscus outside my bedroom door. I pulled some weeds, rearranged a few planters, fully immersed in my happy little zen place. As I was positioning a little garden angel to better rest in the imagined spring violets, I felt a sudden white hot stab of pain in my hand. A moment later an army of wasps rose menacingly out of the little angel. I didn’t stick around to see what would happen next.

I was wearing what I normally wear when I garden, which is basically the equivalent of a space suit. By now I’m familiar with the routine of everything in my garden trying to kill me, so I was shocked that the little bugger managed to stab me clear through my thick rubber gloves. He got me on the right hand, just under the knuckle of my ring finger. Today whenever I try to curl my hand to do things like open the fridge, get the peanut butter jar, turn on the kitchen sink, type, grab my phone, brush my teeth, read my book, or well, anything, there is a bone deep ache in that joint. A preview of coming arthritic attractions, I suppose. How something so small can wreck such huge havoc is quite the mystery, and also possibly the hope for us all.

Meanwhile, the bruised universe on my leg appears to be expanding. The swirl of amethyst is now dotted with peach pinpoints, while the periphery is a nicotine-yellow haze. On the whole, the bruise bears a resemblance to the melting face of a swamp monster – the sort of thing you would see chasing a panicked Scooby Doo.

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