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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Things That Eat My Flesh

The hideous and nightmarish Crane Fly

I am being devoured while I sleep. Not by a sultry vixen with a striking resemblance to Raquel Welch as you might imagine, or I might wish – nay, pray – for. Not by nightmares of world Armageddon triggered by great swarms of deadly jellyfish, or reading from the good book in front of the congregation wearing nothing but my drawers. Not by a stomach disorder, insomnia or bed-wetting.

This is much more serious.

I am being devoured by creatures of the night – unseen biters that make me welt up and itch. I would assume mosquito, but I have not noted these nasty little predators flying around my dwelling. I have seen the great, terrifying crane-fly lumbering through the air and killed as many as my deft hands and limited constitution would endure. It’s not that the deft hands really had anything to do with the dispatching of these winged monsters (Google them – it’s a fright); they float with the dexterity of a misshapen balloon, which only makes them more frightening, if easier to kill. Unlike the mosquito, which are more stealth-like and vicious and harder to spot, especially without my glasses on.

Regardless of my still-keen dexterity and the ease with which the crane-flies allow themselves to be dashed from the sky, the nocturnal nibbling of my flesh continues unabated. This is not acceptable – those who know me are aware of my many phobias, including my well-documented fear of birds, wolverines, circus clowns and certain types of wood. Most of these irrational fears could probably be controlled, if not cured by years of therapy or medication, neither of which I have the patience to indulge in. Except for circus clowns – no amount of drugs or soft, wheedling talk could ever cure my disdain for these evil, devilish fuckers. We can now add “things that feed on my flesh” to the list. This would include the aforementioned mosquitoes, zombies, leeches, vampires and carrion such as hyenas and coyotes. Flying carrion, like vultures and buzzards are already included because they are birds.

But I am not writing to whine about my various and powerful phobias. I am writing because I think I may be victim to bedbug infestation. From articles I have looked at – again, I mostly skim – it appears that there is a plague of these little bastards sweeping the East coast. Even the iconic Empire State Building has not been able to escape the ravages of the bedbug and I fear that I may be the one who has carried the epidemic to my beloved desert.

It all started with my trip to Iowa to visit my daughters and my sister, who ironically has also chosen to live in Iowa. Ironic because I don’t think I have met anyone in my entire life who has made the deliberate choice to move themselves and all their stuff to Iowa, now I know half a dozen if I include my sister’s husband and daughter (who really had no say in the operation) and my daughter’s mother. Iowa to me is just West Virginia with corn. But again, I digress. I sat out on the porch at my sister’s house and was nearly eaten alive by what I assumed were mosquitoes – again, the dastardly little monsters were hard to spot; I saw nothing. I got back home and the itching and welting began in earnest, keeping me awake at night digging at the wounds and making up new curse words to adequately describe my agony.

Then, once the Iowa Bites (as I have named them) began to heal and stop itching, new ones began to appear. Not just on my calves and feet – no, not this time. Whatever little carnivore is choosing to eat me alive is moving around , catching me on my arm, my neck, my chest. At first I blamed it on the crane-fly, the idea of which was almost too hideous to bear, but after careful research found that they didn’t prey on flesh at all. I still kill them when I can, as I would any invading wolverine, zombie or circus clown. I fear that I have been infested with the bed-bug. I will continue to fight and search out any hidden predators of the night that may linger in the shadows of my darkened room, but have no fear – if this constant attack continues, I will not hesitate to burn my sheets, my bed, my clothing, an ugly dog and my apartment to spare those around me. I will set myself aflame in a blaze of sweet-smelling oils if that’s what it takes to keep the epidemic contained. Or it could be spiders – could anything be worse?

Stay tuned.

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