there is a mist that hovers over the street, made up of blown oil, ddt and a bit of water. a truck drives through the neighborhood every week, spraying the area for mosquitoes, keeping them away, killing them with the poisons contained within.
we run behind it; my cousins and i...allowing it to settle on our skin so we can stay out later in the heat of a louisiana summer, delighting in the glistening coating that we rub in, happy in the knowledge it will protect us from annoying bites. thanks to this magic oil, we can run off to play night games of tag and hide and seek and jump rope under the street lights until we are called in to go to bed.
decades later, three of us have cancer. some say it was hidden bad luck, some say it was hidden in our genes..
i'm pretty sure it was hidden deep in that mist we reveled in so long ago... knowing i can change nothing, knowing it was a mistake...and still, with the harsh consequences of that long ago decision, i think back on those nights with remembered joy.