It’s hard for me to imagine but I remember that there was a time when I would have trouble falling back asleep after finding a bug in my bed. I cannot really fathom why I would be so shaken up by one tiny creature, maybe it was my lack of familiarity. Even with my chemically treated mosquito net (ever watch a fly slowly slip into insanity as it inhales the toxic fumes, from your bed? It’s a somewhat bittersweet experience) I am happy to wake up and discover only one dead bug in the folds of my sheet. With the commencement of the rains bugs have made a comeback from their relatively limited showing during the hot season. I had almost forgotten how much I hated flies and mosquito bites; now I remember.
Having been raised in a society where even a drunk yes means no, I feel very much violated by flies. I yell and swear and swat at them but their advances are relentless. They touch me in places I do not feel comfortable being touched: my lips, my eyes, my nose, my ears. The other day I had a grasshopper crawl up my pants to my inner thigh. I tell them I’m tired, I really just wanted to nap, but their tiny feet awkwardly tickle me as they caress my legs. And cuts too. Any type of wound is treated like a desert oasis during a drought. They all brazenly crowd around my scratched raw mosquito bites, doing I’m not exactly sure what; but I don’t like it. I once had the great idea to use this weakness of flies to my advantage. I would wait until a cut of mine was covered in flies, then I would swat, and with their lust for blood or whatever they take from me, they would react too slowly and I would have killed many flies with one slap. If you’ve ever mistakenly bumped an open wound of yours against some hard object you’ll probably have trouble fathoming why I would think this was a good plan. I only tried once. My hatred of flies runs deep, but not deep enough to ignore the pain of slapping your own open wound. The worst part was watching the flies, who had all escaped, return to my newly throbbing cut not a full minute later.
I was confused about where all the bugs had gone during the hot season. Not that I complained or went looking for them but their relative absences was conspicuous. Now I know where they were, or at least all the earwigs. I had been sleeping outside during the hot season because it was absolutely too hot to sleep inside, so my mosquito net was set up out there. The first night it rained enough where I was forced to relocate under a roof I was too tired and grouchy from being woken up in the middle of the night to be bothered to move my mosquito net with me. But then laying in the dark trying to fall back asleep I kept feeling itchy. I know mephalquin can have strange side effects, but I hadn’t experienced this before. I felt like bugs were crawling all over me. It finally got so bad that I had to turn on my flashlight, and that’s when I found out that there were bugs crawling all over me. Earwigs. I killed all the ones I saw and tired to go back to sleep. A little later I felt like I had more bugs crawling on me. I killed those as well. And then again. I couldn’t figure out where these bugs were coming from. Eventually I just gave up and fell asleep. It took me a few days but I finally realized they were dropping down from my ceiling. It’s a nice straw area for them to live, except of course when it rains and becomes soggy, then they drop in to say hello. It’s much less of a problem now that it’s been raining for a few weeks and most have left their apparently seasonal home.
The newly vacated residence did not stay empty for long. Now at night I can hear something (originally I assumed they were termites but now I just don’t know, and they never show themselves) eating my beams at night. Every morning I have a pile of tiny wood shavings on my floor and at night I listen to their chewing and hope the wood is thick so that I have some time before the roof collapses. My host father said I could fumigate my room with a mixture of mosquito spray and engine oil. The bugs will apparently all die and fall from the ceiling, but I’m hesitant to expose my body to more poisons considering the aforementioned mosquito net and mephalquin.
Really there are just bugs everywhere now. There are these neat red fuzzy ones that remind me of grandmas in velour jumpsuits. There are neon green spiders that look like space probes, and red millipedes that look like stitches over a raw wound. There are so many bugs that reading or writing at night has become a huge nuisance. They are all attracted to any light and fly into your eyes until you give up. We cannot even eat with a flashlight on anymore. It’s better to keep it off and hope nothing’s swimming in our sauce rather than turn it on to see bugs land in the spotlighted food. I tell myself there are probably healthy macronutrients in the bugs I eat, but the buzzing from inside my douche quickly reminds me of the other, not quite as healthy, hosts the bugs might be carrying with them into my food. Ah well, such is life.