The Wettest Spot in the World
Peggy J. Herring
Kenda was expressing a new discovery about herself to her office mate, Deb. Kenda was telling her about how she had noticed over the last few years just how much she was affected by the weather. There were times when she didn’t understand herself at all. She hated the heat, but she lived in the South. She loved rain, but she lived in a place where drought was the norm.
“And then,” she said in exasperation, “I get so jazzed when it finally does start to rain. The darker the sky gets, the more excited I am. But then get this,” she said to Deb. “When the storm is over all I can think about is how all that rain will just make my grass grow and then I’ll have to mow it again.”
“You’re just one fickle piece of work,” Deb said. “You’re one of those people who would probably complain if they hung you with a new rope.”
Kenda looked over at her like she was nuts. “Well...well hell yes I would!”
“See?” Deb teased. “See what I mean?”
“What a stupid thing to say,” Kenda mumbled. “A new rope.”
“You’ve certainly lost your sense of humor lately, too.”
“It’s this weather thing, I tell you! It has me all crazy and doubting the choices I’ve made about my life. Like where I live and why I’m still here.”
“You’ve got vacation time coming,” Deb said. “Take a cruise or something. Get a change of scenery and clear your head. Go to Alaska or Siberia or Antarctica. See some new kinds of weather. Hawaii use to have a place called ‘the wettest spot in the world.’ Maybe they still have it. You can play in the rain all you want to there.”
“And sink to my earlobes in some Hawaiian swamp? No thanks.”
“There you go being all negative again,” Deb chided.
“Then answer me this,” Kenda said. “Why is a place in Hawaii called the wettest spot in the world when we’ve got oceans and lakes everywhere? Why can’t the Gulf of Mexico be the wettest? I was swimming in it last summer and it seemed pretty wet to me!”
“You’ve also started being really contrary,” Deb replied. “No matter what I say these days you have to contradict me. If I say that the ocean is blue, you tell me it’s not...”
“It’s just a trick of pigmentation...”
“If I say two-plus-two is four, you tell me it’s not...”
“Calculus proves that it’s not...”
“And if I say that a head of lettuce is bad, you say that it’ll make great mulch!” Deb practically shouted before Kenda could cut her off again. “My point is that no matter what, you want something else. If it’s hot, you want it cold...”
“Not cold, but not hot!”
“If it’s dry, you want it wet -- and if it’s wet, you worry about mowing the lawn! Nothing makes you happy anymore! You always want something else!”
“Listen, Deb, there’s no reason to go getting all psycho about this, I just have a problem with the bloody weather!”
Deb turned from her. “You don’t have to yell...” she choked out as her shoulders shook.
“Oh, Deb, you’re the best office-mate I’ve ever had... I didn’t mean to hurt you or anything...” Kenda slowly approached Deb, not sure what she should do. She tentatively put a hand on Deb’s shoulder. “I’m sorry I yelled...”
Deb turned around, her shoulders still bobbing, “You silly dyke,” she began, but was interrupted by another fit of giggles. “I’m not crying -- I’m laughing at how seriously you take everything!”
With that Deb doubled-over, falling right into Kenda’s arms, toppling them both to the floor.
Laura DeHart Young
Kenda lay there on the floor in a complete sprawl with Deb in her arms. What were actually seconds seemed like minutes as she thought about how long they’d been friends, how many lovers they had lost between them, the pain they had shared – and the laughs. Suddenly, Kenda thought she heard violins playing in her head. Or maybe it was a harp. Then again, it could be a cello. Whatever it was, it caused an unexplained sensation to blossom in the pit of her stomach.
Deb got up and dusted herself off. She was howling with laughter. But when Kenda took Deb’s hand and scrambled to her feet, she wasn’t laughing. The touch of Deb’s hand caused her mind to clear. The constant brawling emotions that nagged her every thought were gone. She thought about how Deb had felt against her on the floor, if only for those few seconds. It was erotic and it made her shiver from head to toe.
Deb waved her hand in front of Kenda’s face. “Hey, Kenda? You in there? What’re you thinking?”
“That Hawaii’s no longer the wettest spot in the world.”