The second I saw this prompt, I thought of the early days of my relationship with my Accomplice, back before we were married. We met, became friends and fell in love in Arizona, while we were both working at Moqui Lodge, just outside Grand Canyon National Park.
One weekend, we decided to visit the North Rim of the Canyon. That’s ten miles or so, as the raven flies...but, of course, we aren’t ravens, and it was a trip of several hours by motorcycle, since we had to travel to the bridge at Lee’s Ferry, then backtrack to the North Rim Lodge.
On our way home the next night, we stopped in the desert. If you’ve never seen the stars on a Northern Arizona summer night, you might not understand exactly why it was such a spiritual experience to lie there on the prickly sand of the arid ground, side by side, staring up into infinity.
Suddenly, into that moment of peace, my Accomplice made a little shrieking sound. “A tarantula’s on me! A tarantula’s on me!”
That made me laugh so hard I couldn’t respond. He was staring at me as though I was pure evil, and not at all the woman he’d proposed to and planned to marry in a few weeks. He calmed down a little, then launched into another round of tarantula allegations while I laughed myself to tears.
By now, you’re probably really sympathizing with him, and thinking I’m an insensitive monster...but that’s because I’ve intentionally left out one vital piece of information.
As I was lying there in enraptured contemplation of the swirling firmament flung gloriously above us, he was thinking about tarantulas and scorpions and all the tiny dangerous inhabitants of this wild landscape….and that’s the exact moment when his fiancee decided to tickle him playfully.