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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

Billy, Bible & Booze

I turned the shower at the cabin on, turned the temperature to hot, and step out of the bathroom to ask Andrea if she has seen the bath mat.  She steps into the bathroom, locates the mat that was right in front of me, steps out and asks, “Did you fart?”

“No!” I say, stepping back into the bathroom and realizing that the hot water smells like farts.  Hm.  I sniff my arms after drying off from the shower.  Nothing.  I ask Andrea to sniff my arms.  Nothing.

Andrea showers and comes out saying, “You know, I don’t think it smells like farts.  I think it smells like blood.”

“That’s worse.” I say.

“You know - the iron smell.” Andrea says.

She’s not wrong and I envision a horror movie, blood pouring from the shower head & me beneath the pulsing, crimson stream.  Gross.

Yesterday, we drove through Pigeon Forge which Andrea remarked looked like Vegas.  Not untrue.  We proceeded to Gatlinburg.  Gatlinburg is not Vegas-y.  But of course, it’s a tourist trap all the same. And, very ‘Billy (as in hillbilly), Bible and Booze.

The deck of our cabin is great.  The dogs love it.  Yesterday, the skies darkened early and it began to pour.  No bear sightings. I got some writing done and figured out how to crank the rest of the chapters out in the time I have left with my developmental editor.  Writing has become an invasive species in my mind.  Today I read something from a Great Smoky mountains tourist brochure and groan saying, “Ugh! They needed Karina!” Referring to my developmental editor.

Today started off gloomy but the sun came out before 10 AM so we hit the road with The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cades Cove, as our destination.  The route is less commercial.  Beautiful.  Closer to the park, there a few roadside motels.  They look tidy, inexpensive, and have outdoor pools.  In short, they remind me of the type of motel my dad would select for family vacations, which stirs within me one of my least favorite emotions: nostalgia.  I’m not a very sentimental or nostalgic person, but today it feels inescapable -   seeing a brochure for a railroad museum he would have hustled us off to visit, and Horehound candy for sale at the old general store.

We drive the Cades Loop at the Smoky Mountains, eyes peeled for bears.  We see countless butterflies, one squirrel, and thirty crows.  Andrea keeps count and acknowledges, “Some of these could be repeat crows.  We’re not scientists.”  No bears.

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