Life has been surreal – stranger than any fiction I could write. And if you have been keeping up with the FB posts – you know I can write some strange shit.
Like killing off my main character over and over again, diverting a river to hide a dead body (weird but true), maiming someone and having them stumble to the Nile to be dismembered by crocodiles (mild to moderate maiming so they can walk after a fashion), falling in love over a string of red beads (carnelian – I would like a love-inspiring necklace), giving birth (no experience, nada, not even watched it on YouTube), ancient Egyptian love-making practices (very little pornography available – had to make them up except for one often repeated line, “Come to me from behind”), and the importance of animal dung in making a poultice (historically accurate but very eeooogh).
I have researched herbal poisons in ancient Egypt (beware people with large rings), marital rights under the Visigoths (surprisingly good for women), bad cop-good cop techniques (may come in useful), animals of the Alps (don’t go hiking by yourself and avoid lizards spraying toxins like from “Jurassic Park”), flowers loved by men (back to the poisons), sexual hallucinations (got to get me some of these), witch hunts in the Dark Ages (just say NO to the Dark Ages), stoning versus burning (neither thank you very much), and the physical attributes of an ancient Egyptian (dark skinned, small, overweight with pot belly and bad teeth not anything near “The Ten Commandments”).
And deliberated over a bunch of How-Tos/DIY techniques; how to distinguishes Black Henbane from other poisons (always smell what you eat and drink), how to fool someone into thinking they had sex with you (lots of info here), how to cross a mountain during the Dark Ages (you don’t), how wolves hunt (in packs – don’t look them in the eyes), and which is the fastest way to bleed out – puncture bite to the femoral or brachial artery (femoral – easiest to get to – keep people away from your inner thighs).
Whoa those are some strange lists.
I am hoping Saturday was the apex of my own kind of strange. It may have to do with going back on painkillers (no, not the opiate but the inhibitory neurotransmitter type). On the meds, I imagine my brain to have the consistency of not-quite-set Jell-O. For example, if you put your hand in the black box of my mind, you could pull out one of the finely detailed topics listed above but not how to make rice. Been making rice, or more correctly unintentional rice balls, for decades.
Three nights ago, I was boiling rice in a bag – a friend suggested this easy fix. All of a sudden I knew, just knew, we needed some Sambuca to celebrate Saturday night. At least my brain did not call for adding Henbane to the recipe or to go watch a crocodile eat my surgeon, anesthesiologist, and/or wound care specialist.
So off to the ABC store, which had moved throwing me into a directional tizzy, to stand before an enormous overly lit ballroom filled with really pretty colors. Sparkling. I got a tad overwhelmed, looked down at my feet to discover, I am standing in a liquor store in my fuzzy slippers. I checked my hair. It had that just napped feeling. Sticking out all over and somewhat matted. Thank goodness all my parts were covered.
“Do you want black or white Sambuca?” I asked my friend.
“Ugh. I’ve only had the white. Black would go nice with your pink slippers … ”
“Did we turn off the rice?”
“Okay dokey. We need to get home.” I made an executive decision and grabbed the black Sambuca. Usually I go for the known but on meds I am adventurous!
Back at my house, the rice was soggy in the bag. We got it boiling. Dinner was good. The after-dinner Sambuca proved to be a dilemma.
“One coffee bean?” I asked.
“Three, I think, or seven,” my friend said.
“Gimme that iPad. We’re going with three. Health, happiness, and prosperity. Two out of three?” We looked at my errant foot then added two coffee beans to the liqueur.
“Should we set it on fire?” I asked.
“No I’m sure your foot will get better!”
“Silly Bean. The Sambuca.”
“Let’s ignite it then put it out before we drink it.”
“Or singe our nose hairs … “
“And eyebrows,” he said.
We enjoyed the Sambuca as I explained the next decision point for my almost-completed first draft of the ANCIENT EGYPT book (write on painkillers, edit when off).
“Should she die by fire or by stoning?” I asked.
“Both sound painful.”
“I have the research on how the body dies either way. You know, the timeline for cooking versus crushing. It’s kind of gross,” I said.
“No I don’t know. You did use the Private Browsing setting, didn’t you?”
Oops. Hopefully, my searches have not flagged me for a trip to the police station, with the FBI, CIA or Poison Control. Enough stange/surreal. Maybe I should lower my dosage. Please bail me out of jail if I call you. I’ll make you some rice in those handy-dandy little bags.