Last night I wrote about the stink bugs invading my patio and apartment. Today, there are no stink bugs to be seen anywhere. Coincidence? I think not. WRITING IS MAGIC.
This morning I took my coffee and Murakami’s IQ84 to the patio to enjoy what will probably be the last warm day before summer finally cedes its hold on the climate and lets fall take over. There was a stink bug on the sliding glass door. On the inside of the sliding glass door. I slid it slowly so as not to disturb the creature. They’re terribly clumsy, it seems, and one little move and they’ll just fall right off — especially if they can somehow manage to fall on you in the process.
This one didn’t fall off. I’m sure that depressed him somehow. Once outside I realized there was another on the other side of the glass. They walked towards each other, but apart, and then away. And that’s when I saw the third. And the fourth. Then I leaned back in my chair, broadened my scope, and saw at least 15 of them. It was like the glass was moving. The bricks were moving. The ground was moving. They were everywhere. And they were very interested in one thing … me.
They’re quite demanding and presumptuous; always up in your face being erratic and loud and annoying. One flew right onto my face, another on my head. One aimed for my head but I ducked and it missed, landing on the back of my chair. I got up calmly and moved to the other chair. I want nothing to do with them. But they want everything to do with me, and they persist. They want to fly into my face; they want to get tangled in my hair. If they land on my book, it’s on the precise sentence I’m reading. I shake my book and the little bugger doesn’t move. Right. If I slide the door more than an inch a second you’ll fall off, but if I shake my book upside down, causing irrevocable spinal cord damage to the heavy book in the process, you remain stuck to the page? I suppose “selective stickiness” should be added to the list of powers the stink bug possesses.
Perhaps they’re lonely. There are dozens of them buzzing about on the patio, but they don’t seem to pay any attention to each other. They only want attention from me. But no, I think it’s something more than this, something beyond loneliness — I think stink bugs are inherently suicidal. Not in the depressed or despondent or hopeless way. In the suicide bomber/kamikaze way. Think about it. Stink bugs have two purposes: to procreate and to stink. The way they stink is to get frightened, agitated, fucked with, or killed. The things that kill them the most (not that I researched this at all) are human beings. It just stands to reason, because they’re annoying as all hell. So here’s the lifespan of a stink bug: get born, procreate, annoy human, stink. It’s a pretty pristine life cycle when you think about it. All goals met; all purposes fulfilled.
When I decided to go back inside (mainly because there’s only one stink bug inside, but dozens outside), the inside guy, who I’d decided to name Pat since Pat’s a nice unisex name and I’m not going to go probing about a stink bug trying to determine its sex, let alone its gender identity, fell off the door (predictably) and narrowly missed landing on my bare foot. He buzzed in frustration on the floor as I walked away. But Pat was a persistent little bugger and insisted on following me to the dining room were I’d taken over at least a good two-thirds of the dining room table with my sprawl. No matter, no one actually eats there, anyway. It’s just part of life: you have a table in the dining room so when you have guests they imagine you live a life they don’t. But I digress.
Pat made his way haphazardly to the dining room and proceeded to play some sort of reversed game of stabscotch with the ceiling fan, weaving in and out of the moving blades and buzzing at approximately 95 decibels while I’m trying to work. I quickly moved back to the living room and watched from a safe distance, praying Pat wouldn’t get sliced by the fan blades and/or decide to hang out on my laptop or my pages or — God forbid — my coffee cup. Eventually he moved on to the kitchen and I returned to my work, silently hoping these annoying fuckers decide to complete their life cycle somewhere else.