From a friend who recently visited Uganda, I know that in certain regions of Africa, everything can kill you. Buzzing or goring or biting, there is little that will leave you unharmed. Yet, she described with awe, the people are all happy.
I find Los Angeles to be that on a smaller scale. They have forest fires that can evacuate entire sections of the city, mud slides that crush cars and shut down roads, and earthquakes that split highways. Yet these people are the most chill people you’ll ever meet (off the highway at least).
The first time this vacation I was shocked by another source of danger: the black widow. Since childhood this spider has been blown up in my mind as a mythic creature of wicked mating habits and lethal to encounter. While helping my Nonno move cinder blocks, one scampered out from the hole, trying to avoid to detection. It’s body was corpulent, carried along by a flurry of spindly legs. Its body was a sleek black with the faintest shift of hue from jet black to a dried-blood red. A creature conjured from the depths of a nightmare.
“If you’re afraid of insects, I do it,” my Nonno said. I could only shake my head and laugh—an exasperated disbelieving laugh.