I ran downhill through the prairie grass with the forest on my right, rounded the bottom of the trail, and turned south along a little ridge of red rocks made slick from the rain. My footprints matched a string of llama hoof prints. My arm brushed past the same soft pine tree branch that always, always touches me on this lap. It's like a touchstone, a gentle nudge, even a little kiss every quarter-mile. I took a deep breath and navigated the rocky downhill corner, enjoying the goose bumps from that pine tree kiss. Then it happened...
That deep breath I took should have been refreshing and energizing. Instead, it filled every cell of my being with...
So obviously it warrants this Senses Inventory.
See: Even through my rain-spotted sunglasses, I see the blurry haze of skunk spray. All the colors of the farm are muddled together. They are slowly dropping into shades of brown and gray. My eyes are burning now.
Hear: Pacino is uphill near the house, singing and screaming at the free range guineas and chickens. I hear Dusty give a little whinny, like he felt a disturbance in the force. Besides these animals voices, all I hear is Shakira from my iPhone, making promises to me about truthful hips. She has no comfort for me about skunk spray.
Smell: I normally kind of like the smell of skunk spray, but this is too much. It's just so dang strong. It's so intense. It's like skunk spray... concentrate. It's like all the skunks of the world have been warned they have one last chance to rid themselves of spray, and they must do so here at the Lazy W. Behind this. Exact. Tree.
Taste: That sour, peppery, putrid, slightly gaggy, warm, fuzzy air that follows a truly drenching skunk spray. I taste it in my mouth. I taste it in my throat. The awful taste is now seeping down into my empty stomach.
Touch: Now the oily mixture of sweat and rain feels dangerous, like it could in fact be, well, you know...
Think: Is this skunk spray actually on me? Or is just about me? And where is the skunk??And are green garden tomatoes as effective at sanitizing as standard tomato juice? I know my car needs cleaning, but there is no way I am getting in there smelling like this.
Feel: Betrayed. I feel betrayed by nature.
Have you ever been skunk sprayed? It turns out my little run in was just friendly fire; it could have been much, much worse. And I credit the damp weather for intensifying every detail of the blast.
Still, Momma Llama Seraphine would only get **just so close** to me when I walked back uphill.
All of it.