I spat out a gnat the other day after I came home from running outside and I caught another one in my eye. After I cleaned myself up and thought about how repulsive I felt, I thought back to that time when the Fam went down to Ocean City, MD and my eight-years-old curiosity got me entangled in a rip current of sorts. Whatever it’s called, I stood with my feet in the sand and watched as the water slowly pulled me further in. Then it pulled me all the way in, tossed me around in every which way until it finally spat me out like that gnat. I ended up swallowing a lot of bugs and when I got out, Grandma’s chuckling face greeted me. I didn’t understand it back then, thinking that she was laughing at me, but I bet it was amusing for her to watch her granddaughter tossed around in the water like a piece of tumbleweed. (And I don’t mean this in a sarcastic way at all. When I really think of the look on my grandmother’s face, it wasn’t laughing at me. She was enjoying herself seeing how much fun I was having.) Not to mention she couldn’t stop herself from laughing, trying to figure out how she was going to explain that one to my mother. Mom was there, mind you, but she just missed me getting sucked in by the water and was letting Grandma watch me for a few minutes. Years later I was retelling what happened that moment to Mom and she just laughed and explained Grandma’s reaction to me.
It’s funny, you know. That feeling you get when you do something that isn’t pleasant, yet it reminds you of something else that happened to you that’s similar, but in a pleasant way. It’s like pulling out a white rabbit memory from a black top hat. You completely forgot you had this memory. You were holding onto it for just the right moment, like when the whole world shuts down and the only thing safe you do outside without a face mask on is go running by yourself because at least it keeps your lungs strong, just in case. That’s this feeling. It’s called That Gnat.