It just dawned on me that I am unnecessarily squeamish about insects. Flying roaches are one thing, but everyday flies? Hmm!
So I’m not satisfied with the apartment that I’m renting. Not only did I run into all those difficulties in my first few days here, I have continued to have maintainance issues after another. This is what I get for trying to stick to a budget and live like a medical resident in my first few years of being an attending. Now approaching year four, I am too grown up and too sophisticated to put up with this bullshit. Yes, I swore. More later when I finally do make my escape, hopefully soon. In the meanwhile, I’m making do with this suburban hell-hole of an apartment.
So back to the flies. It started about a month ago when it started to get warm. I was cooking and all of a sudden a huge fly was in my presence. I was alarmed that the fly was already so plump and gross when it had only just begun to be warm. I half expected the first fly of the season to appear malnourished and feeble. I let it buzz around and that was the end of that. About a week ago when comfortably resting on my couch at night I again saw and heard a fat fly buzzing around. I assumed it was the same one as before. Being the lover of all God’s creations that I am (as long as they respect their space) I opened the door and guided it out by shutting all the indoor lights. This took skill.
The next day, the fly was again buzzing around my lamp. “Enough is enough” I said to the fly. I went on a hunt for my insect spray only to remember that I hadn’t packed it for the move. No aerosols. So I found the next best thing. Scrubbing Bubbles! I laid a fine layer of white foam over my lamp hoping that the fly enjoyed it’s citrus flavoured bath. Good riddance! But that night there was a faint but distinct persistent buzzing in the room. The next day, the buzzing continued. This time I could localize it to the living room window. It continued into the next day as well, still at the window. What on earth?! It was now beginning to be irritating. I often sit in silence and the buzzing of the fly was not my desired soundtrack to life. Now, note how I used the singular – fly. How naive can one be?
This evening, I returned home exhausted after a long after-work meeting. The day itself had not been too busy, but these hospitals are on a mission to suck life out of me by keeping the temperature frigid. I’m one of those people who need warmth to be energized, see. I returned home eager to get a few writing and internet tasks completed only to be greeted by the incessant buzzing. Na today be the day, as the Nigerians would say. The buzzing needs to end! I saw a huge fly buzz towards the windows while simultaenously hearing buzzing coming from the window. How odd! There must be two flies. I went to the window and saw a few moving black objects behind the drawn shades. I dared not open them up. But I was grossed out. It was like a party back there.
I went back to work but the noise was just louder than ever and I was really beginning to feel like insects were crawling all over me. I decided to take care of the issue by spraying the flies with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint castile soap. It was all that I had that could in anyway be obnoxious to a fly’s delicate senses, I assumed. I sprayed the blinds hoping that some of it would get to the flies behind. Then I went about my business. The buzzing didn’t abate, but in about five minutes THREE flies were out swarming around my head. Oh no. No! No! No!
It’s almost 9 pm now. I’m still tired. I’m looking to eat something, but I cannot function knowing that there are flies behind those blinds who no longer want to stay there. I don’t even bother putting a bra back on. Off I go to the store for real bug spray. If today is the day I meet my Prince Charming oh well. If today is the day I end up in the trauma bay, at least I have clean drawers on. On my way back I imagine that the flies, knowing what I am up to, have come together and formed one huge fly. Like in that horror movie, The Fly.
But I come home to a sweet peppermint scented apartment…only with three or four flies buzzing all over like they’ve gone insane and that incessant buzzing now around the kitchen ceiling light and no longer at the living room window.
I get to work. I spray, I spray, I spray. I spray like there’s no tomorrow. I begin to spray on everything. I don’t care if a droplet falls on a food item that I will one day eat. I just spray. I listen to the buzzing which has now gotten louder and spray and spray and spray. I begin to wonder if flies in this area of the United States are resistant to the stuff of the shelves. Am I going to have to get a bazooka for these things? Fly down on the floor twitching? I annihilate it. Soak it with bug spray. Fly spiraling downwards, you are marked. Take that. The buzzing has abated. But my senses are piqued. What’s that? Ah-hah, a lone buzz. I w i l l f i n d y o u! Better tell your friends this apartment is off limits. Bug spray on the premises. RAID you say? Yes be afraid. You will be terminated!
When peace finally returned to me, I went counting the corpses. Twenty little buggers. TWENTY. Twenty flies hiding behind those blinds all these days. Shudder! No wonder the buzzing was so loud. Don’t ask me why twenty flies were in this god-forsaken apartment. I don’t want to know. I just want to pack my things and leave!