I have a good relationship with the creepy and crawly. Those types of creatures don’t really bother me. One time I saw a spider sneaking across my bedroom floor. I knelt down and told it, “Just crawl back into the shadows, just go where I can’t see you and I’ll let you be.” It listened, and I reckon it’s still crawling around somewhere in my house. Another time a beetle somehow got trapped in my room. Why was there a beetle in my room? I have no idea. I can understand spiders, but beetles? No idea. Anyhow, he was wandering around aimlessly. Literally, just going in circles all morning long. After I was done with school, I kindly retrieved it and released it back outside where he belonged. I have a heart. I didn’t kill any of these creatures. I let them live.
But when these creepy crawlies have wings, there is no such kindness. Wasps, mosquitos, flies – disgusting. Get them away from me as fast as possible. Yuck.
During the summer, the door to my home is always open. And I’m not trying to make some metaphorical statement that our family is very hospitable (albeit that also would be a true statement). The door is literally open from the time we get up to the time we go to bed. This causes problems for skinny people like me who are always cold. And not only that: leaving the main aperture to our dwelling place gives those flying invaders, those little devils, free reign to our entire house.
So one summer evening last year, I was trying to sleep. It was the evening. I was tired. I needed that beauty rest. So I have my eyes closed, lying on my back, just trying to pass into dream land. Then all of a sudden, I hear this buzzing. A small winged invertebrate was in my room with me. So I think to myself, “I really tired. I’ll let this one fly. I’ll let him go on his merry little way tonight.”
But this creature was not content with just buzzing around my room. This thing decides to dive bomb my face. At this point I was half asleep, so this thing scared the bajeebees out of me. So I sit up to see if I can spot this thing lurking above me. Because if this thing is a wasp, I’m not safe. There’s no way I’ll be able to sleep if this thing’s a wasp.
I couldn’t find the thing, so I lie back down and get settled into my comfy place. And right as I get into the place of serenity, right as that heaviness hits you before you fall asleep, the thing does it again. Right past my face like a kamikaze. I think, “Okay, maybe it’s just a coincidence. Maybe it was just some freak circumstance that the same insect has flown uncomfortably close to my face.”
So I settle in again, I squirm around to find that comfy place again. And lo and behold, this bugger comes around for another pass. That was it. That was my last straw. I scramble up out of my bed, run upstairs, and get the fly swatter. This thing was going to DIE. I come back in, flip on the lights, and I just listen for that sound. That buzzing, that little chainsaw in the air. I hear it over by my window. I stalk over there, and it shoots off like it was waiting in a cannon. I’m pretty sure I ducked as it banzaied to the other end of my room. Fortunately, it wasn’t a wasp. It was defenseless. But that thing had to die. It had invaded my personal space and at the most inopportune time.
I went over to where I think it has landed. But of course, it had hidden itself. I squinted and scrutinized every nook and cranny of my room. I must have disturbed it with my stalking, and it flew up along the wall to its original spot. We did this little dance about five times. I scared it from place to place without scoring a hit.
Then, oh then. FINALLY. The fly comes straight at me from the windowsill. The feeling that went through my veins was something like ninja power. I was tracking it, and as I swung the flyswatter, I knew it was going to hit this pest. And it did. Oh glory! I was elated. Victory was mine! I had finally conquered the beast!
But that feeling of exhilaration, that ecstasy lasted for but a moment. For that fly was not really a fly. It must have been some kind of monster. It had survived the death swipe and was continuing to buzz along in my room unwelcomed.
The dance resumed for a few more laps, and my focus grew stronger. I was finally able to track its complete flight traversing my room. I had located its second resting spot. I went into crouching tiger mode and silently tiptoed to its location, flyswatter at the ready. This was to end it all. This was for peace. Well, at least my peace. I struck, and it was to kill. The fly fell from its perch, vanquished. Was this really it? Had I slain the vile creature? Was I dreaming?
And it was reality; the fly laid there in the carpet defeated once and for all. The glee I felt earlier was amplified sevenfold! For now I was actually victorious in my quest. I felt like Teddy Roosevelt on the top of San Juan Hill, my charge successful and my task completed.
I slept very well for the rest of the night.