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

 

 

More articles by:

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

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

July 25, 2017
Paul Street
A Suggestion for Bernie: On Crimes Detectable and Not
David W. Pear
Venezuela on the Edge of Civil War
John Grant
Uruguay Tells US Drug War to Take a Hike
Charles Pierson
Like Climate Change? You’ll Love the Langevin Amendment
Linda Ford
Feminism Co-opted
Andrew Stewart
Any Regrets About Not Supporting Clinton Last Summer?
Aidan O'Brien
Painting the Irish Titanic Pink
Rob Seimetz
Attitudes Towards Pets vs Attitudes Towards the Natural World
Medea Benjamin
A Global Movement to Confront Drone Warfare
Norman Solomon
When Barbara Lee Doesn’t Speak for Me
William Hawes
What Divides America From the World (and Each Other)
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?
Chandra Muzaffar
The Bilateral Relationship that Matters
Binoy Kampmark
John McCain: Cancer as Combatant
July 24, 2017
Patrick Cockburn
A Shameful Silence: Where is the Outrage Over the Slaughter of Civilians in Mosul?
Robert Hunziker
Extremely Nasty Climate Wake-Up
Ron Jacobs
Dylan and Woody: Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad
Dan Glazebrook
Quantitative Easing: the Most Opaque Transfer of Wealth in History
Ellen Brown
Saving Illinois: Getting More Bang for the State’s Bucks
Richard Hardigan
The Media is Misleading the Public on the Al-Asqa Mosque Situation
Matthew Stevenson
Travels in Trump’s America: Memphis, Little Rock, Fayetteville and Bentonville
Ruth Fowler
Fire at Grenfell
Ezra Kronfeld
The Rights of Sex Workers: Where is the Movement to Legalize Prostitution
Mark Weisbrot
What Venezuela Needs: Negotiation Not Regime Change
Binoy Kampmark
From Spicy to the Mooch: A Farewell to Sean Spicer
Wim Laven
Progress Report, Donald Trump: Failing
Weekend Edition
July 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Kevin Zeese
Green Party Growing Pains; Our Own Crisis of Democracy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Red State, Blue State; Green State, Deep State
Paul Street
“Inclusive Capitalism,” Nancy Pelosi, and the Dying Planet
Anthony DiMaggio
Higher Education Fallacies: What’s Behind Rising Conservative Distrust of Learning?
Andrew Levine
Why Republicans Won’t Dump Trump Anytime Soon
Michael Colby
Ben & Jerry’s Has No Clothes
Bruce Dixon
White Liberal Guilt, Black Opportunism and the Green Party
Edward Hunt
Killing Civilians in Iraq and Syria
Matthew Kovac
Is the Flint Water Crisis a Crime Against Humanity?
Mark Harris
The Revolutionary Imagination: Rosa for Our Times
David Rosen
America’s Five Sex Panics
Robert Fisk
Saudi Arabia: the Kingdom Whose Name We Dare Not Speak At All
Jack Heyman
Class War on the Waterfront: Longshore Workers Under Attack
Kim C. Domenico
Marginalize This:  Turning the Tables on Neoliberal Triumphalism
Brian Cloughley
Trying to Negotiate With the United States
John Laforge
Activists Challenge US Nukes in Germany; Occupy Bunker Deep Inside Nuclear Weapons Base
Jonathan Latham
The Biotech Industry is Taking Over the Regulation of GMOs From the Inside
Russell Mokhiber
DC Disciplinary Counsel Hamilton Fox Won’t Let Whistleblower Lawyer Lynne Bernabei Go
Ramzy Baroud
The Story Behind the Jerusalem Attack: How Trump and Netanyahu Pushed Palestinians to A Corner
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail