FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

To Bee or Not to Bee

by MISSY BEATTIE

I have a neighbor, F, here in the Kingdom of Cross Words (and puzzling entanglements), who’s been depressed and medicated off and on for months.  The genesis of his anguish is twisted adoration for a female who clutches him closely and then hurls him away with language and equivocation that would send most in the direction of sanity. Seems this woman-like object holding the deed to F’s underwater soul has torture down to an artistic science. And despite my disdain for his willingness to accept abuse, F and I have managed to talk each other up, and by up, I mean elevated from death wishes. Plus, he tolerates my radical political views without recoiling or criticizing.

Recently, F announced he had a story for me. I thought perhaps he was going to report that sunlight’s truth had illuminated his sensibilities as well as his sensitivities and that finally he’d used the word he and his fixation once selected to signal THE END.  But no.

I’ve written that I’m an actor.  I don’t wear despair for all to see.  Seldom does my face display what I’m feeling.  F is my opposite.  His posture, footprint, and even his shadow exude his mood.

But F was smiling— a smile so large I didn’t have to say my usual to him, “Turn that frown upside down.”

What happened?” I asked.

This account followed:  F was sitting on his balcony when he felt as if he’d been branded—a burning sensation so hot he thought he was going to lose consciousness.  Pulled up his pants leg and saw a monster bee—he called it a cicada killer, although it could have been some other stinging bee.  Whatever (?), the insect discharged its weapon of venomous destruction.  Soon, the targeted area was crimson and swollen.

Feeling feverish, F went inside to stare at his red face in the mirror. Hives polka dotted his flesh, so off he to drove to the nearest emergency room.  Encountering a red light, F applied brakes. When the signal changed, his vehicle was recalcitrant. Why would his car forsake him at this moment?  F’s breathing became labored.  He dialed 911 and then noticed he’d put the gearshift in Park when he stopped. Shifting to Drive, F proceeded to the hospital, arriving in anaphylactic shock.

But GET this:  F realized somewhere along the catalyst, after stinger pierced skin, that he loves life. He’d been telling me he didn’t care. His encounter with another species proved otherwise and accomplished for him what those antidepressants and his shrink had failed to achieve.

Later, I thought of my grief, the four years and four months without my husband.  All the times I’ve wondered what to do, how to do it. And if some face-off with the Grim Reaper, such as the Lesbaru’s plunge into a body of water, might inspire, “Yes, yes, I wand to live.” And, then, “Oh, no, too late.”

The neighbor has felt an incredible lightness of BEING since his near-death event.  And I?  Well, maybe, I’ll sit on my balcony some evening, after dabbing a little honey on my body—honey to lure a female carpenter bee.

Missy Beattie bees in Baltimore.  Email:  missybeat@gmail.com

 

 

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Steve Horn
Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Stephen Kimber
The Media’s Abysmal Coverage of Castro’s Death
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
Julian Vigo
The Hijos of Buenos Aires:  When Identity is Political
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano
By Way of Prologue: On How We Arrived at the Watchtower and What We Saw from There
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix the ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
Aidan O'Brien
Fidel and Spain: A Tale of Right and Wrong
Carol Dansereau
Stop Groveling! How to Thwart Trump and Save the World
Kim Nicolini
Moonlight, The Movie
Evan Jones
Behind GE’s Takeover of Alstom Energy
James A Haught
White Evangelicals are Fading, Powerful, Baffling
Barbara Moroncini
Protests and Their Others
Joseph Natoli
The Winds at Their Backs
Cesar Chelala
Poverty is Not Only an Ignored Word
David Swanson
75 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies
Alex Jensen
The Great Deceleration
Nyla Ali Khan
When Faith is the Legacy of One’s Upbringing
Gilbert Mercier
Trump Win: Paradigm Shift or Status Quo?
Stephen Martin
From ‘Too Big to Fail’ to ‘Too Big to Lie’: the End Game of Corporatist Globalization.
Charles R. Larson
Review: Emma Jane Kirby’s “The Optician of Lampedusa”
David Yearsley
Haydn Seek With Hsu
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail