Peace of Mind (or, Why You Should Listen to Your Mother)

Yikes, I haven’t written in forever! I’ve been a bit tied up lately.

I had planned to post this some time ago, but never got around to it. This happened around Christmastime, but subsequently I had another peace-of-mind-crushing experience that I can add to it now. ^_^

When I went to Kampong Salm for Christmas, my friends and I spent two days on the beach. On Christmas Eve my mom called me and asked what we were up to, and when she heard about the beach she said, “Liz, that part of the world has very dangerous jellyfish. Maybe you should stay out of the water!” Naturally, this sounded like a terrible idea to me since the whole point of going to the beach was to go in the water. “Okaaaaaaay Moooom…” I said in a tone which I hoped she realize meant, “No way, I am definitely going swimming.”

The next day me and three of my buddies went to the beach. We found a really nice spot on the sand and laid down our towels. My friend Eileen (NY) went in first, and could not have been in the water for more than fifteen seconds when she said, “Liz, you should come look at this!” I knew what it was before I got there, because this is the divine order of the Universe: it does not matter what country you are in, your mom is always right.

So I waded in a little bit to where Eileen was and watched the jellyfish with her. Having never seen a jellyfish in person, it was really quite fascinating. It looked like this. Watching it push and puff itself around in the waves, it struck me as a rather peaceful creature. In spite of that, after I got out of the water I didn’t go back in. How one’s mother can jinx them from 8,646 miles away is really beyond me.

Not so long thereafter, when I was safely back in my cozy Kampot abode, I found myself awakened in the middle of the night with the need to go to the bathroom. Half-asleep I made my way downstairs towards the kitchen. When I flipped on the light, though, something on the floor startled me completely awake. A scorpion sat on the floor, barring my way to the bathroom. (He looked like this.) I looked at him for a long time and he never moved. Unfortunately, I really had to pee. Luckily the kitchen counter runs along the wall all the way to the bathroom door, and there is about a three inch step up into the bathroom, so I decided I was pretty safe walking across the kitchen counter and swinging myself around the threshold into the bathroom. I kept the door open the whole time so I could keep an eye on that bugger. He never moved, even a tiny bit. Suspiciously I watched him as I crawled back down the countertop and hopped back to the floor. “Thanks for ruining my peace of mind,” I told him resentfully before I shut off the light and went back to bed. Who knows, maybe I ruined his peace of mind, too. “There you are, just minding your own business hunting insects and small mice or whatever it is I eat, and all of a sudden it’s bright out and there’s this enormous animal standing there, staring at me! I’ll never be able to rest easy again!”

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