Providential Bee

17 Apr

“To your ass. Still in tact.” (Pause, sip of espresso.) “Now we know it’s not full of air. Otherwise it would be deflated now.”

I had to hold the coffee in my mouth and clench lips hard against a laugh. I let my eyes show my immense approval of his sudden and sharp wit.

My ass deserved a toast after this weekend. So much beach and hiking alternating with prolonged sitting in various modes of transportation. I’d finished a vigorous and scenically invigorating hike with a good amount of clamorous forest calls declaring the muscular protestations of my posterior. “I need to stretch my glutes!” There should be a PBS program featuring my outdoor prowess and appreciation.

That crisis averted with a bit o’ yoga, the final insult to my hindquarters came indoors. I was sitting down to a delicious breakfast prepared by my gallant male companion in the charming and sunny South Providence kitchen of my soul friend. All was well. I was smiling.

Sitting elegantly upon a craftily appointed seat cushion atop a kitchen chair, a needle pain returned against my downward motion. It was sharp and immediate, shaking me from the sunny breakfast reverie but not causing me to give up my demure guise for the Gallant Gentleman’s benefit. I delivered a restrained shriek in a delicate note I’d never before emitted in distress. Leaping part-way up and prodding the errant cushion with my hand, I declared with more faux ease, “I sat on something!”

Standing up further upon gaining no conclusions or evidence of a misplaced pin or needle, I felt another distinct jab on my corporeal being. “Oh! And I’m still sitting on it. It’s still…”

Lifting dress to investigate further, I saw a yellow and black garden drone climbing upward along a backdrop of my black tights. She was departing my derriere en route to my hip.

“It’s a bee!!!!!” I shrieked exactly like a Minnesotan dainty girl. (In the early phases of dating it’s best to pretend you’re always quite cute, even when suffering pain and humiliation. It’s a good way to insure you’ll receive chivalrous attention.)

My Gallant Gentleman whipped around from the stove, brows raised in alarm but countenance otherwise calm. Seeing me freeze with dress aloft and bee gamely exposed for removal, he grabbed a butter knife and dismissed the threat while I harmoniously added a bit of horror into my squeals.

From the bedroom leapt my Soul Friend, to whom Gallant Gentleman said in accented English as he hurled the winged beast floorward, “I’m sorry, I have to keel eit.”

Oh, humble hero. How you are tormented by your duty.

Reluctant assent was given by lovely Soul Friend, and the bee was dispensed with under tip of butter blade. The Gallant Gentleman’s eyes lifted to me, my form still frozen with stings shocking. He requested an ice pack from my friend and gently suggested I sit down.

Calm was restored, ice applied, and it was discovered that I had two stings from one bee, but no stinger remained as evidence. The buzzy lady was pretty resilient.

Later, perched on high chairs in a cafe, preparing for our train journey home, the espresso toast made to the perseverance and strength of my weary ass, the Gallant Gentlemen initiated a Socratic dialogue.

“That bee paid with its life to tell you something,” he said, grinning that cheek-tucking half-smile he does when he’s chagrined or feigning a serious air, as he was now. His accent pushed extra emphasis onto unfamiliar syllables as he partially feigned an American pop soothsayer tone. “Bee messenger. You better listen, girl!”

Then, continuing the philosophical dialogue, he parsed the definition of Providence, the city where these stinging events transpired. We were in a place where extra meaning hid behind every apparent triviality. We paused a moment, giving the selfless bee some respect, and concluded that her message was clear. “Get off your sorry ass and do what you say you’re gonna do.”

That’s what I said, and of course it’s true. But the bee also told me that I am never alone with pain or fear. As Pema Chodron says in her tonglen meditation practice recording, we must constantly remind ourselves, “Other people feel this.”

Even if I didn’t contrive to make my bee-sting fear more palatable, I’m sure that my friends would have leapt to my rescue. Other people feel this. Don’t hide your hurt.

3 Responses to “Providential Bee”

  1. lizard100 April 19, 2014 at 4.59 am #

    She, the bee was a she! She died : (

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