Now that itís cooler outside, Gideon and I have been opening up the windows a lot more. We love the fresh air and how much it lowers our electricity bill. Itís the time of the year where we can fall asleep listening to the trees swaying and whatever re-run of Sanford and Son our neighbor happens to be watching. Iíve looked forward to it since May.
Of course, I didnít expect to be dealing with a bunch of seemingly harmless bugs who bite you when you least expect it. Like many of you, Gideon and I have been trying to keep swarms of Asian beetles from entering our apartment. We havenít been successful in the least.
Last Thursday, we had so many little red bugs in our apartment that we couldnít escape them. They congregated in the crook of the wall near the ceiling, creating a little ladybug masterpiece. It was really just a big red glob, but Iím into abstract art. I tried to accept the bugs as part of the household, figuring it would be impossible to get all of them out and I didnít really feel like trying. Being lazy helped. Being lazy helped a lot.
That afternoon, I tried to smoke a cigar on the balcony. I let the cat out so he could feel like part of nature, even if for five minutes. The beetles didnít let up. They flew onto my arm, into my hair and right on the tip of my cigar. Turns out beetles donít like being on fire. Then one of them bit me. BJ pawed at the screen door and tried to open it in vain.
ďIíll let you in,Ē I told him, ďbut itís not much better in there.Ē
Sure enough, he pawed to be let out again five minutes later. I had already retreated indoors, so I made BJ stay there with me. Together, we began searching for a place where the bugs werenít. They had found all the closets, even the tiny one where we keep our vacuum cleaner and miscellaneous junk. Gideon advised me to turn all the lights off, saying the beetles were attracted to the brightness. But it was 6 p.m. I couldnít escape the light. We couldnít do much about the bugs that were already in the house, Gideon told me, but I should definitely close the windows so more of them couldnít squeeze their way in through all the little cracks in the wall.
I couldnít bring myself to do that. These beetles had invaded my apartment. They had bitten me and turned my cat into an anxious mess. They had taken residency wherever they pleased and given me no choice but sit in my car listening to The Cure wondering what the world would be like if these horrible bugs had never found me.
They had taken so much from me, but they couldnít have my windows. I waited for months to open those windows. I spent the entire summer fantasizing about how it would be to push them up and feel the fall breeze against my face. They werenít going down Ö I wasnít going down Ö without a fight.
Iím not much of a fighter, but I can be stubborn with the best of them. Those windows did not go down, not once. The beetles eventually found somewhere else to go. I suppose they got sick of being around me.
At least the feeling was mutual.
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Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.