Because You Can't Wear Platforms in the Peace Corps

my life illustrated by stories of shoes

snakeskin shoes, snakes March 23, 2010

Filed under: Life,Uncategorized — Geri Gordon Miller @ 9:00 am
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I was sitting thinking that no matter what, I had to get back to writing, no matter how tired or distracted I am. I started thinking about a few things I am going to write about, and I can’t get into the entire thought process, but I started thinking about snakeskin shoes.

And then I went back to a story my friend Amie told me…A girl she knew had a pet snake who she loved and slept with in her bed every night(I know, this is just where I should end the story.) One day her snake stopped eating, and wouldn’t sleep in bed with her-he would just stretch out across the living room floor. This went on for a few days, so she took her beloved pet snake to the vet, and he told her it was time to euthanize the snake. He had been stretching out to be long enough to be able to eat her. Eat. Her.

I cannot get the visual out of my head. So I decided to google “snake eating humans,” just to see if the image I envisioned was what it actually looked like.

Don’t do it. It is way worse than I pictured. No sleep for me tonight.

When I lived in New York I used to go to the Bronx Zoo and force myself to go to the snake house. I would get rid of my fears. I would stare them down, and then, when I stopped breathing, I would leave. I can’t even deal with garden snakes.

A few months ago a neighbor knocked on my door and asked if I had lost my pet snake. He found it. Noooooo, not mine, and where exactly did he find it and why did he think it was mine. The orange and green snake had wandered in his yard, which he found out wasn’t poisonous. What a relief. Cut to a week later, and a neighbor two doors down lets me know they found the snake in their basement. For weeks I was afraid to go to the back of my yard. Just the thought of the slithery orange and green reptile  I started sweating and my heart skipped a beat. Eventually he gave it to a reptile rescue, and i am hoping whomever lost it doesn’t have more.

I have an active imagination and I need sleep.

Someone told me a story once about a snake traveling through the septic system, and someone went to go to the bathroom, and looked down and there it was in the toilet bowl. Everytime I go to bathroom I look just to be sure.

About seven years ago my sister traveled through the Amazon. I will never, ever, forget an email I got from her when they got back to civilization and to an internet cafe. I want to say up front, I wonder if we really are related. 

She started the trip in basically a beat up wood dingy, slowing making its way down the Amazon at night, watching the eyes of alligators on the banks of the river watching them. Base camp was deep in the forest, where they were urged to go to the bathroom in pairs because a pregnant jaguar had just ran by. After a pregnant jaguar comes a male to protect her. The next morning was “hunting” for anacondas. As they waded knee-deep in the water where anacondas sleep, Julie asked how they knew they had eaten already. The answer was they just do. Hmmm. While swishing the sticks through the murky water, a swarm of killer bees suddenly appeared. The guide whispered to stay as still as possible, and the bees eventually flew away. When asked what they would do if the bees had tried to attack, the answer was jump under the water and hold your breath. With the supposed sleeping anacondas.


Those are some large, nasty looking , CARNIVOROUS snakes. I would have stayed at camp and taken my chances that I wouldn’t be eaten by a jaguar. No, I would’ve cried until there were no tears left, and demanded that everyone in the group turn around and take me back to modern society. No, I would never, ever, ever, go in a small canoe and travel in the amazon.

 There are just some things in life I don’t need to experience myself.