When I was a kid we put goo on trees.
It was this thick orange sticky goo that went around the trunk of each tree on our property. My dad said it protected the trees from the nests of caterpillars. Instead of allowing these disgusting creatures to build a tent of webs on the branches, these worms were caught; forever stuck and slowly suffocating in a transparent glob of slime. It was gross.
One of my friends got too close for her own good.
Maybe she was drawn by the gore of hundreds of insects caught in the sludge, or maybe she simply didn’t realize how close she was to the grime. But she got some goo on her leg. Suddenly she’d been slapped by a blob of jellied centipede legs, flightless wings, and bits of antennas.
She started screaming bloody murder. At first panic I just wanted to make sure she was alive. When I saw she was not only alive but standing, I knew it wasn’t life or death. Her screams told me otherwise. She wailed, hands pointing to her thigh – the portion of her leg left bare by her swimming suit – totally smothered in goo, and whatever insect was the first and last to attempt a crawl up a tree trunk.
It was a glop of amputated extremities and stilled life.
We eventually calmed her down, and some paper towels, good clean soap, and the touch of a mom took care of her frenzy. But as I thought about it, I understood how she felt. For hours after it had been wiped away she could still feel the glob on her leg. It had the deaths of thousands in it. She never really felt clean, even after all day in the pool and summer sun. Each season when the goo would be spaculed on tree trunks, and the webs would take over the empty branches she would remember the trauma all over again.
I am her. There is goo on my leg. And I stand frozen in disgust, but screaming in frustration. Someone help me. Get this goo off of me.
I can’t do it myself. I’ve tried. It won’t rub off.
I can not get this dossier out of my hands. It’s stuck here in the U.S.. Taunting me. I may need to just cut off my leg.
After celebrating our success, and my relinquishment of this responsibility, I’ve found out New York State is not acknowledging paperwork we’ve supplied. I’ve made over a dozen phones calls to no avail. I’ve found no one who knows what to say or is 100% clear on my situation. It looks like a day trip to New York is in my future – for a $3.00 notarization. Or a 12 week hold. Or a third option I have yet to discover.
I’ve been gooed. The dossier is stuck to me. I don’t see anyone in the yard running to my aid. I’m just screaming – stuck here with the the tentacles of paperwork threatening my life. Help.