welcome to the danger zone

Why I Don’t Sleep At Night (A Where’s That Bug? Bedtime Story)


Okay, bug.

I was sitting on the couch. I just wanted my laundry to get done. I could barely keep my eyes opened. I just wanted to sleep. I am just waiting for the last spin to end. But there was an uneasiness in the room. I could sense something was not quite right in the controlled chaos of my living room. No, not indigestion. But something.


It’s on the ceiling. It’s enormous. First thought…Supersize Cockroach? Better not be. No, not a cockroach. Wrong size, color, too slow. Giant spider? That’s a possibility, but still too slow. Behemoth centipede? Too short to slow. Zombie Beetle? No, not real. My heart is racing, my mind examining all the scenarios. It’s on the opposite side of the room right now, but what if it’s scoping me out, waiting to make its move.

I could get a big box and squash it. What if I miss? It might fall on me. Bad idea. Broom? When was the last time I speared a bug with a broom? Never. Next! Roll of craft paper? Too far. It’s gonna land in my hair. If I knock it down, it will escape and stalk me. It probably is faster than it looks. Okay it seems to still be tracking the far wall. I think the washer stopped. If I run into the kitchen I can grab my clothes and make a dash for the stairs. It won’t come upstairs. Or will it. I need to see what it is. NO! STOP! Come no further. It has started to move in my direction. I run to the washer.

Calm down, calm down. It can’t move THAT fast. Grab the clothes. Just get enough so you have something to wear tomorrow. Okay, edge toward the kitchen doorway. Slow, slow, it may have changed course again. Nope, there it is. Devil. My arms are full heavy wet clothes. I am fat. I can’t move that fast. What if this bug is faster than me? What if it’s poisonous. I still have not identified it. I am gonna die. I know it.

But maybe the vibration of me running to the stairs will startle it in to retreat. Maybe I can get past it. I have to try. I run to the steps. I stop to quickly look at it. Pill bug. Rollypolly. Monstrosity. I bolted up the stairs. Hung my clothes to dry. And fell into my chair, prickling in terror.

Now I’m afraid to sleep. What if it followed me? What if it wants to lay babies in a human host? What if it’s going to creep into my work bag I left all alone downstairs? What if I reach into my bag tomorrow and it bites me? What if it crawled across the ceiling and is on its way into my room now? I certainly can’t turn the lights off…that’s what it’s waiting for. I should have remember the shop vac and turned it on and sucked into the vacuum. Now I sit here in terror.

So my darlings, I hope you are all sleeping tight. I’m not. And don’t worry, that itchy spot isn’t a bedbug bite. And the creepy feeling on your scalp? Not a spider. Sweet dreams.


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