Sunday, November 15, 2009

Strange Interactions

We find a spot in the shadow of an oak and open up our folding chairs. Sun slips through the black branches above. Spanish moss sways to the music of rustling leaves. An expanse of grass spreads out before us.

My wife sometimes tells me that the grass in the South is too crunchy, that she misses the softness of northern varieties, lush under her bare feet. But she doesn’t mention it today.

We don’t say much. There is little to be said. I read a few pages of my book before taking a break. My eyes follow as two lemon butterflies chase each other, fluttering and swirling, painting patterns in the air. Off in the distance, the laughter of a child tumbles upwards.

I watch my wife flip through her magazine. I reach out and touch her arm, tickling it with the tips of my fingers. She looks at me from behind her sunglasses and smiles. I smile back.

We go back to reading, and a falling acorn smacks the ground a few feet away. I pause to ponder the odds of the next one hitting me. I decide they’re slim.

“My butt is falling asleep,” she says, standing up. She shuffles past a twisted twig that looks like a snake and out into the light where she raises her hands in a stretch.

There’s a commotion in the grass near her feet, and she bends down to survey the area. “Something strange is going on over here.”


“A little bug is chasing this big red bug.” She purses her lips and pauses for a few seconds before continuing, “Come see.”

So I climb out of my chair and I march over to inspect the scene. She’s right. A little black bug, maybe some kind of wasp, is riding on this bigger bug that looks like a tandoori-colored bulldozer. The wasp is crawling all over the bigger one, and it takes a minute for it to register that he’s stinging it, that some mysterious poison is filling the big one, that it’s too late to save it.

The sound of a plane leaving from the nearby airport rumbles in my head. So I look away from the mayhem, and this departing airplane’s ascent pierces the pristine blue of the sky. I think of the people onboard, returning home or setting out on new adventures. And I wonder if, in their travels, they ever notice the strange interactions of bugs in the grass.


  1. I hate you, Hunter. Stop it, stop it, stop it. Too good. Such a tiny incident brought to life with amazing imagery. Favourite line: "Tandoori-colored bulldozer".
    I read blogs for many reasons - usually because they warm my heart or make me laugh. Yours frequently does both of these things - but you're the only blogger I've come across whose 'writing' I truly admire. Keep up the great work.

  2. Amazing how I became interested in the bug and the wasp just like that.

  3. I love writing that paints a mental picture.

  4. I agree with Fish, it's amazing how you take a normal day and transform it into something unique and wonderful.

    btw, if the grass is crunchy my friend, it's dead. yep. Dead.

  5. Lovely.....I felt as if I were there watching those bugs as well. I loved it.

  6. Wow, PMFOOW, that's some high praise. I really do appreciate the heck out of it. Especially so as I work on non-blog related writing that hasn't seen the light of day.

    Hi, Secretia. It was a fascinating little moment.

    Hi, Eva. I was definitely trying.

    Hi, Mike. Thanks, man. And by that definition, all of the grass in Florida is dead.

    Hi, Amber. Thanks. Just mixing things up with this one.

  7. i know what she meant by the northern grass. i noticed that in canada. true writer can write things seemingly trivial and make it interesting. like you did.

  8. Mr. London is my Favorite New Person, as he's brought me to folks like you. The descriptiveness here--thank you for taking me to crunchy grass and acorns falling, as I sit in a city nearing a frigid winter!--is lovely. How refreshing to read writing written by, er, em, a true writer.

  9. "My butt his falling asleep" love this line!
    It's funny. I just keep hearing, "Huh-huh, Huh-huh, he said butt." Circa 1990 Beavis and Butthead.

  10. I love your style. I always feel like you take me to places with your writing.

  11. Hi, Sarah. I've also noticed the difference.

    Hi, Jocelyn. I could say the same for MLS pointing out your excellent blog.

    Hi, adrienzgirl. It happens, and we definitely laugh at stuff like that too.

    Hi, Kate. Thanks. Maybe one day I'll take you to Funky Town.

    Hi, Ally. Muchas gracias. Glad you liked it.

  12. Beautiful capsule moment Hunter, you took me from the tiny to the immense and back again!

  13. Hunter, I just loved this! It was simple, moving and captured just about everything! The simple things like Nature, the intimacy of two people, clearly at one with each other, right to noticing the things that we take for granted. The 'plane passed overhead, people doing things and going places that we can only imagine!
    Just beautiful!

  14. Great post! You have a great talent with writing. I look forward to your future posts and hope there is a book in the works!

  15. Hope are well. I always look forward to reading you! I've posted a question to readers on my blog! would you visit, and give it an answer!!! Thanks so much for your help.

  16. I'm at a loss for words. Love, love, love your writing. Simple, inspiring, beautiful.

  17. You're very very good. Love reading your stuff!

  18. I love reading your post Hunter. You have a fantastic way of creating a scene and letting the audience get seeped into the details. I loved "tandoori-colored bulldozer". Great post, as always.

  19. It is a lovely little moment of life between two people who are obviously so comfortable with each other. One of the delights of being together.

  20. Hi, S&C. Thanks!

    Hi, Alice. There's certainly something to be said for the simple things.

    Hi, ByDSea. Expect the book sometime around 2050. ;)

    Hi, Write. I did. Just keep writing.

    Hi, lesinfin. That's very kind of you to say.

    Hi, Tina. I'm glad that you enjoyed it.

    Hi, Lola. Always appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Glad you liked this one.

    Hi, Madame DeFarge. I love those comfortable delights. Thanks for popping by.

  21. Even on hiatus, yours is one of the few blogs I just had to peek at--

    lovely post; you often capture that moment between funny and poignant, and you always do it well.

  22. Really adore your writing, Hunter. There are two awards over at my place waiting for you..
    Tina xx

  23. Hi, Leah. So glad you decided to pop by. Hope all is well with the hiatus and that you're gearing up for a nice Thanksgiving.

    Hi, Tina. Thank you. I'll swing by and check it out.