...in the bottom drawer
I knew I'd lose it so I put it in a safe place, and now I can't remember where it is.

currently stashed in: Cheshire Street, London
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June 17, 2005 || 1:44 am

The mosquitoes here are getting extreme, as is the heat. I could do the latter without the former, but at around 5.30 every day the mosquitoes descend looking for blood and won't leave me alone until 10/11-ish, when for some reason they decide they've had enough. They ignore the citronella oil my mother sent me and are only just kept away by coating myself with noxious 23% DEET bugspray. And even then they will find the one sqaure inch of your body that isn't protected and suck on it until you have a huge misshapen welt. These bastards are black with stripy legs and they stop at nothing. My legs look like I have some kind of awful parasite and I'm very glad I don't have to look even vaguely attractive to anyone here. I don't know how the locals appear to get away scot-free.

But apart from that, everything is good. The slow summer days here are American movie-classic. Long evenings, the thick heat meaning you can't move fast. I'm glad our house is finished and we don't have to work on site, but even sitting still at my laptop, I am covered in a film of sweat five minutes after coming out of the shower, and it doesn't budge all day. There are swifts squeaking in the sky and rap music booming out of a car down the street. The turtles - pond turtles and the box turtles with hinged shells - are out in force on the roads and us Rural Studio kids stop to move them out of the way in memory of Sambo. A friend nearly got bit by a rattlesnake the other day and the ants will find the smallest crumb of food that you leave out. The proliferation of nature here is wild and decadent, almost disgusting - the ants and roaches, the bugs, the kudzu and the poison ivy.

You can easily see the Southern Gothic cliches in everything; and someone finding an amputated arm in the basement of a former surgery on Main Street, or a wife accidentally shooting her husband with the rifle he gave her for her birthday and was showing her how to use - these stories somehow sound stranger in the heat. (And they are both true. Happened here few weeks ago.)

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