Bobby, lately of Cell Block B at the Virginia Regional Peninsula Jail, has new digs in Cell Block D, where inmates receive visitors on Sundays rather than Tuesdays, so this evening I drove over at my usual time, arriving just a bit before 9:30. It was a bit of a shock to have to wait in the reception room. During the week, it’s deserted by that time of night. I guess weekends are different.
“You here to see your boyfriend?” asked another guy. Not a coy sort of fellow, apparently. Wants to know if I’m single.
“No,” I said. “I’m visiting a friend.” I could have lied, but it wouldn’t have done much good. A boyfriend behind bars is not much deterrent to prospective suitors.
“What’s your name?”
“Lydia.” I’m normally a terrible liar, but practice anything enough and you get good at it—and believe me. I’ve had plenty of practice at giving men a false name.
Am I being too harsh, or is it a really bad idea to chat up women at the local jail?
So that was today’s excitement, capping an uneventful but very busy weekend. This may sound incongruous—how could it have been uneventful and busy at the same time?—but I am forced to deduce that I must have been busy doing something, because otherwise there’s no explanation for the way my To Do list failed to shrink. Actually it expanded when I wasn’t looking, and in fact spilled over to next week.
Yesterday’s excitement came from interacting with wildlife. On my walk to the grocery store, I saw a beautiful spider. It was probably dead, but I decided I didn’t really need to know one way or the other. Regardless, she was black and scary looking. This was not the sort of pudgy fat lazy spider who sits about looking cute. This was the sort of spider who attacks hobbits. Her body was narrow and her legs were long, with sharp pointy joints. There were six vivid yellowish green dots on her back, arranged in two columns, as on a domino. Now that the temperatures are cooler there’s a good chance she has gone to the great Mirkwood in the sky, but she still looked plenty intimidating. I greeted her as I walked past at a nice safe distance.
At this same location I failed to see my groundhog. Perhaps it’s hibernation time. Do groundhogs hibernate? ….do spiders eat groundhogs?
I also greeted a bird, whom I shall identify as a hawk, since that seems more likely than “turkey” or “ostrich.” Many people enjoy watching birds. I am not one of them. They have their moments, but I don’t find them particularly endearing. I was however impressed with the wingspan of this bird. Distance made it difficult for me to guess accurately, but I’d wager that it outstripped my own modest five-foot one.
“Hello, possibly-a-hawk,” I said. “There are some fish in the fishpond over on Second Street, if you’re hungry.”
It’s true. There’s a restaurant on Second Street that keeps a pond out front. I do not feel bad for having directed a bird of prey toward them. They are disobedient fishies. Every time I walk past them, I tell them– I really cannot resist, it is a biological imperative– I tell them “Don’t be coy.”
They never listen. They deserve to be eaten.