Appreciation

Slowly, lazily, she swatted the fly away from her face, trying to appreciate the beach and the sunset, but the bugs were driving her crazy. She slapped at another one as it came to rest on her leg. The tell-tale buzzing of a mosquito came next, and she shooed it from her nose, hoping that no other of the blood suckers had left their annoying, itching mark on her. Finally, when the buzzing subsided, she settled back to find that a cricket had come to rest on the brim of her big, floppy hat. Taking off the hat, she brushed it off, watching it fall to the ground and scuttle away. Lying back again, she had a couple moments of bug-free happiness when she heard the sound of flopping wings by her right ear. A large moth had come to rest on her sunglasses, as odd as that was, and she brushed it away, faintly repulsed by the dust that it left on her brand new, designer sunglasses. With another short lull in her annoyance and distraction, she looked out at the sunset, watching it set. The sun had just touched the edge of the sea, turning it crimson akin to autumn leaves, falling in tons and tons to rest on the small, circular area under the red sun.


Moments after the sun touched the rim of the world, the chirping of a cicada drew her from her mesmerized state. Annoyed at the interruption between her and the sunset, she looked down to see the cicada was resting right next to her left leg, its front two legs reaching out to start its journey over her crossed legs, despite the perils that lay in wait. Not even letting the bug start, she moved her legs to a sitting position and used her sandaled foot to move the bug onto the ground. Lying back again, she started to put her hat back on, to discover that a praying mantis had gone to rest lazily in her hat. Her eyebrows furrowing, showing lines that betrayed her age, she shook it out and jammed it on her head, before arranging the brim in a way to make her look more attractive, despite the fact she was totally alone.


As she looked up again, she saw that the sun was already halfway down into the ocean, and she started to watch again, letting the deep red of the sun burn into her memory. As she watched the sun shrink in size, the beach seemed to hold its breath in anticipation of the sun’s finale as it let the last little bit started to vanish. Just as the sun was about to disappear entirely, a horsefly alighted on her leg, and bit her with precision on the inside of her knee. As she looked down, scowling at nature and breaking her concentration for the couple moments that it took for the sun to finally set, she missed the finale of the day again. When she looked up again, she saw that the sun was gone, and she sighed. All of the bugs that had plagued her were gone, and as she folded up her lounge chair, and straightened up, turning back to her little condo. Taking her hat, she tipped it to the bugs, and sighed.


“Good game, girls. See you again tomorrow.” As she headed in slowly, having missed the exact moment of sunset yet again, she could have sworn that the cicadas and crickets were laughing at her in their song.





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