That's right. I'm taking a brief goddamn break from my 5 QUESTIONS series. What's it to ya, buster?
Don't work yourself up in a soapy lather about it, unless you're a hot chick, naked and covered with said lather and you send me photos of ya. I have several more bloggers lined up, with their answers turned in, already, that will be featured after this post. Stay tuned!
Around a week ago, my buddy, Steve and I took a drive to a place called Bon El. Before we got out on the road towards Bon El, Steve was talking the area up as if it were some sort of mecca.
Before he mentioned it, I had never heard of the place.
"Oh, you have to see this place," he said, "It's beautiful."
Now I've known Steve for about, eh, twenty five years. So, we've been friends for awhile. We've been to quite a few outdoorsy places that has some pretty terrific scenic views. Places down in Kentucky, around and in the Red River Gorge, for instance. Red River Gorge is a large part of the Daniel Boone National Forest. The Gorge, a heavily wooded area with dozens of trails, has some fantastic spots, overlooking creeks, wild rock formations, a river and natural rock bridges.
Steve, another friend, his German Shepherd and I camped out on the edge of a cliff during one adventure at The Gorge. The place is a lot of fun with much to see and do. Check out the link above if you're interested.
My point is: If Steve says there is a outdoor spot he thinks is worth checking out, I'm usually on board with the idea.
Steve was driving. He said he knew the way there because he had been there several times before. So, with a drink in one hand and a bag full of sandwiches, we drove to what turned out to be a very secluded spot out in the country, where the hillbillies flourished and the pot plants grown by the residents could easily be smelled. Unfortunately, I did not see any such plants. But I did see hillbillies and loads of trailer trash. Some folks had teeth. Some, not. Some good ol' boys had pick up trucks. Some had the stereotypical broken down cars on blocks. Jeff Foxworthy would have a lot of material for his comedy routine if he ever visited the place.
Not quite as bad as a scene from the movie, "Deliverance" but it wasn't the kind of place you would wish your car would break down.
Which is kinda funny, by the way, because Steve said that there was a slim chance the steering on his car might go out, due to some damaged tie rods, according to what a mechanic was telling him the day before. He told me this about halfway through the drive of the heavily wooded area.
I laughed and said, nervously, "I really don't feel like being gang-raped by hillbillies and forced to squeal like a pig today."
On the way through the curvy, sometimes crumbling road, we stopped very briefly at this metal archway that stood at the beginning of another road. The roundish archway had the letters KKK stretching from left to right and some other wording I couldn't make out. I didn't want to get out of the car to go read it, either. Steve said, "That road leads to where the Klu Klux Klan holds their meetings."
I was slightly shocked and asked, "No shit?"
I thought the KKK had completely disappeared from around here. He agreed that it was fucked up that they were still in existence, especially not that far from home.
He nodded and assured me that the KKK really did have their white-robed, white supremacy loving, minority hating, moronic ceremonies down there at nights. I said, "Let's keep moving, man." I didn't want to take any chances with the Klan, either. To me, they're a bunch of narrow minded, violent nut cases that deserve to have 6 foot burning crosses rammed up their asses.
We quickly moved on.
Some time after that, we reached Bon El. It was, indeed, beautiful. Water ran in wild and curvy paths over a creek bed. Just beyond it, on the same road, was a long, graffiti covered tunnel that had been built during The Great Depression. Over the tunnel was a working, running railroad track. Around the tunnel was solid dirt and rock.
This picture gives you a tiny bit of an idea of what it looked like like. It's not an actual picture of the place. And it really doesn't do it justice in how it looks and feels. The feeling you get from experiencing the scene is one of quiet serenity. You are very much at peace when you go there. There's just something about it.
As we're driving back home, to civilization, Steve asks me what I thought of that beautiful spot in the middle of nowhere. I responded, "It's hard to describe. It's surreal. Very quiet and serene. And beautiful. But I wouldn't want to end up there in the middle of the night." He looked at me, in all seriousness and said that was almost the same description that everyone gave him whenever they spoke of that very specific area.
Even though the trek leading to Bon El was slightly unnerving, I'm pleased we went there. It was cool, man, cool. And I really needed the feeling of peace after what had happened the day before.
I had a traumatic experience the day before, with my eldest cat, Mufasa. She's a fourteen year old, long-haired calico who we treat like our own baby. Hell, we have several professionally photographed pictures of her hanging off our walls. That's how nuts we are about our cats.
Anyway, after giving her a bath, which causes a bit of stress for her, especially when my wife sticks her gloved soapy hand in her crack for a good scrubbing (Mufasa can't lick her poopy butt back there because she's a waddling chubby blob of fur), my wife notices a couple knots in Mufasa's fur around her neck. Knots that she later tries to brush out with a small wire cat comb but she can't. They're too fucking matted.
So... She wants me to cut the knots out with a pair of scissors.
As for the bath, that routine usually goes something like this: The cat, while getting bathed, makes the damnedest noise, between all of the hissing and acting as if she's going to bite off a finger from the one holding her at her front (which would be me) and she seems to be possessed by the devil. But then, I supposed anyone who was getting that treatment would behave the same way.
When it comes to cutting the knots out Mufasa's fur, I'm usually quite careful not to cut into her skin. I thought I had been just as careful this time, but obviously, that wasn't the case. Somehow, I managed to get some of her neck skin between the scissor blades. Then she began bleeding and the wound opened a little more. I was freaking out. My wife was screaming at me. The familiar old panic of my stress disorder seized me and I just stood there, horrified. Moments passed before I became coherent, went to the room next door and pounded my fist on the wall. Then with a little strength and resolve, I rushed back into the bathroom and asked my wife to lay her on the bed and continue petting her. She quickly did as I asked. Then I got the rubbing alcohol and antibiotic cream from the cabinet and applied both of them directly to my cat's wound.
Mufasa continued to bleed for the next ten minutes. My wife and I were sick about it, thinking she might die. I was also having my own deep, troubled thoughts, thoughts of the helplessness I felt when mom passed away. I think that might be why I can't take stress or shocking situations any longer. There's a connection there. While it's happening, it feels like I'm under a spell.
Unfortunately, all the veterinary offices were closed that day. I called our main one and gave them the story of what happened on their answering machine and that I would call again as soon as they opened in the morning. The only hope we had was that the bleeding had finally stopped.
In the end, we took her to the vet's office the next day. We had to leave her to be sedated and stitched up. When we picked Mufasa back up four hours later, our veterinarian made an odd joke about the whole ordeal that I couldn't understand (still can't) and was frankly, stunned by. I guess he noticed the expression on my face and said that he had accidentally done the same thing with his own cat while trying to cut a knot out. He said it's easy to do, especially when they're long-haired and the matted clumps are so thick that you don't know where the hair ends and the skin begins.
The vet had put four stitches into her neck, closing the dime sized wound. Our cat is doing fine now, obviously healing and is quietly purring and sleeping in the chair next to me. The baby has been repaired. All is well now and I am at peace. Hope you are in the same frame of mind.
Take care, everyone.