On an Afternoon in Florida

Starting at my computer, I felt the weight of the afternoon workload pressing down on me. I desperately sought a distraction from the 60 student papers in my Timbuk2 bag, waiting to be graded. So, I ventured outside.

My brain must not be functioning properly, since I assumed that the weather would be temperate enough for a stroll. Wha? A stroll in mid-September in Florida? Only if I wanted to resemble a drowned rat during my office hours. But I found a nice bench in the shade (which meant it was only about 89 degrees), and I laid back to stare up through the trees.

The drone of student banter, and the whir of the occasional skateboard passing by, had almost lulled me to sleep when I felt something crawling on my arm. Without opening my eyes, I simply brushed it off. Then I felt something crawling up my sleeve. Damn it. Ants.

I sat up reluctantly, shook myself out of the haze, and decided on some coffee. Those papers in my bag had not graded themselves during my brief respite, and I needed caffeine if I was going to find the will to face them.

I meandered my way toward Starbucks, vowing not to go back outside until at least late October. Something tickled my cheek, and just as I reached back to brush it off, the bastard bit me. An ant had the audacity to hitch a ride on a journey that would have taken him days, and then in an impudent showing of complete disregard for my feelings, he bit me.

Now, I have been known to catch roaches and take them outside. I spent 15 minutes the other morning rescuing a dehydrated earthworm on my back porch. But this ant, oh I tossed him aside like yesterday’s news and kept strolling toward that grande skinny latte.

And, during this entire turn of events, the jukebox in my head played Break My Stride.

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