today was hot like an iron.
hot like a burn.
the first summer blaze day, so i wasn't very productive. my winter skin isn't ready for the sweatfactory. i did manage to finish powdering down the perimeter of my house to prevent mukade from crossing the line of death into my territory. the bottle looks exactly like a big yellow mustard bottle with a red squeeze cap, only it spews poison, not mustard. i've perfected my poison-applying technique, so it looks less like i was having a seizure with powdered sugar. before, it was coming out in fragrant poofs, leaving piles of white stuff all over the side of my house. i was secretly afraid the neighbor's cat would find it interesting and deadly, but he seems ok so far. the neighbor lady overcame her habit of saying only a word to me in greeting and actually told me she had just killed a mukade right then and that they come up over our back wall. she had to act a lot of it out so i understood. she went on speaking japanese and i agreed in english, and somehow we understood each other. i asked if it was ok i was using that stuff, and she said yeah.
mukade are japan's only poisonous insect, and i've been dreading the moment when i would see a full-grown one for the first time. i've seen a few small ones in my house which freaked me out plenty, but the big ones are more poisonous and move faster. and they're just BIGGER. saturday morning: after a wonderful dinner party in tsu with a perfect group of friends, marina and i had retired to her apartment. we woke later than i can usually sleep (hallelujah!) and were puttering around thinking tea and raisin toast thoughts. i lifted up my backpack and screamed--beneath it was a big mukade mofo. i threw the pack back over it and turned to break the news to marina. i remember i actually said it in a "we're going into battle" kind of voice. "there's a mukade under my backpack. get the bug tongs." when she handed them my way i responded, "oh no--it's your house. you have to pick it up." she did, like a rock star, and then powdered it exhaustively like a chapped baby's bum. i knew poison would take too long for the likes of me, and as it ran (i imagine screaming) from us, i employed the flip flop of doom and killed it until it was dead. i did feel a little sorry for it. marina had basically been sitting on the couch next to it. maybe it was just trying to enjoy her company like the rest of us do. of course i had to take a picture of its pulverized body.
after several wonderful hours of breakfast and company, we stepped into the sun. i insisted on a picture, so marina, molly and chito made a place for me while i set up the camera.
later marina and i got lots of corny pictures.
finally after a full day of really relaxing for the first time in several weeks--i had to go home.
tonight i christened the start of summer by popping open the bottle of barbecue sauce i've been saving for months and months. thick slices of melting butter and tarty swathes of barbecue sauce on boiled potatoes + iced tea = happy happy me.
as the evening overcomes the day, the hawks swirl like thin metal shavings in the sky, spinning in slow motion down an enormous drain; they wheel around the same invisible point in the air soundlessly, a feather and beak tornado.