They rule in the summer. Around the porch. Over the grass. In the air. Everywhere. It’s not summer without flying bugs.
And know that I used to be a summer camp counselor. Bugs and camp, inseparable things. Those open-air cabins provided amenities like holes in the window screens. At the edges of the camp fire? Bugs. At the pool? Bugs. On hikes in the woods? Bugs. I brushed them off, swatted them away, kept going. No big deal. Losing a camper would be a big deal. Bugs that can’t sass back are not a big deal.
So when a horsefly trapped itself between my front door and my screen door, you ‘d think I would keep it calm. I crack the door open and listen over the signal bells that hang on the door knob for the dog. The heat from the sun blasts me. I hear wings flapping, muffled noises of the beast hitting the mesh. It sounds like it’s above me. Great.
I won’t be boxing this creature out of the sky. I’m not risking the sting of a connection. The only punch I have in common with Sugar Ray Leonard is retinal detachment. Left, right, facedown.
I take a breath. I stick out my arm, stretching like a housewife ninja from behind the front door I’m using as a shield. I reach for the handle of the screen door, flinging it open as wide as I can before slamming the front door shut.
I wait, giving a silent count.
I pull the door open and listen. Can’t see the menace right away with the low vision and I don’t want to be standing inches away from it any longer than I need to. I hear it. It’s still there. I sigh. I repeat the open and reach and fling action, willing the horsefly to flit away. Nope, still there.
I pause and collect myself. Why am I so tense? This horsefly can’t kill me. All I’m accomplishing is terrier nap disruption. But I want this bug gone and gone now. I’m putting my old bravery to shame. One horsefly and I fall apart.
I shake my head and inhale. I give the insect exit strategy a third try. I add additional spastic screen door shoves before I slam the front door.
I listen and listen. Silence.