26 November 2009

Impa and the desert (2)

In which Impa thinks herself Sleeping Beauty and keeps the scorpions at bay

Sleeping underneath the stars rather appealed to me. I'd had a few incoherent thoughts on scorpions beforehand, but had dismissed them. We were to have faith in the cosmos. It would know just what to do with scorpions. And so I went looking for a place to sleep. How do you go about that in the desert? Let's see. Several thousand kilometres of space that way and several thousand the other way. That wasn't really a criterium, then. Were there other people near I didn't want to be sleeping next to? Because in the wide expanse of the desert you wouldn't want to end up next to a snorer. Typically. I saw the last rays of a torch reflect off the rocks in the distance, and then dissapear. There was no one near.

I looked up and looked down again immediately.

One billion countless four hunderd trillion stars were making my head spin slightly. I decided to lie down first, so I wouldn't be found in the sand next to my sleeping bag the next morning, suffering from hypothermia and grunting with happiness.

I chose a spot in a bowl worn away high up in the chalk rocks. The Bedouin camp stood on the sand plains at the foot of the hill. The fire had almost gone out, the camels were dark shapes quietly ruminating in the distance.

I spread my bed, fished my bright pink socks from my bag (there's no reason why we shouldn't make life in the desert as wonderful as possible) and got into my sleeping bag. It had a hood that left only my face bare, especially designed so you didn't have to miss a single breeze when sleeping underneath the stars in the dark. And just as I was ready to surrender to the starry sky I pictured those smooth, black venomous stings again. I felt cracks between my face and the hood of the sleeping bag that were positively gaping - from the perspective of scorpions, that is. (I'm very good at putting myself in their shoes.) Cracks scorpions would come dawdling through at leisure, looking for warm, dark holes and bright pink sleeping socks. (You can't fool a scorpion.)

I decided to take strict measures. If the cosmos had my best interest at heart, they would certainly understand if I handled the limitations of nature and science somewhat casually. I decided to install a forcefield. If they did it in Sci Fi films, I could do it too. I imagined lying there on my hill with a gigantic, glass dome over me. If a scorpion came pattering along unsuspectingly, it would hit the glass dome head on. All scorpions would then clear off happily to look for pink sleeping socks in warm sleeping bags elsewhere. In exchange, I promised the cosmos I wouldn't kill any animals in a panic. It would make me extra peaceful, loved by man and animal alike. Knowing the cosmos, they would rather take to my proposal.

It was done accordingly. I slept a deep sleep, completely scorpionfree, and emerged from my sleeping bag the next morning with two pink socks and a deep sense of happiness.

During the meditation at sunrise, a bird came to sit on my knee.
(image not by Impa but by Disney, obviously)

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