Friday, July 29, 2011

Defense Against the Dark Arts



I'm not the only person who is experiencing a summer of Great Discontent. Just sayin'. I've heard from a handful of others who are doing their best to be cheerful, as my friend Elizabeth wisely advises, even while they (we) navigate our way through fields of spiritual quicksand. Bloody hell.

My determination to put one foot in front of the other, without sinking, is formidable. Not only personal revelations about my terrible, awful, horrid marriage threaten to trip me up, but I continue to experience situations here at the chateau that require me to defend my space. For instance, yesterday I killed (don't want to exaggerate) ... mmm ... something like 200 black flies. The influx of buzzy dudes was so intense I pulled everything away from every space where they might be entering (all around the windows, I discovered) and coated every crack with a virulent bug killer. I know, I know ... poison is bad. However, in a situation like yesterday's, when it's me against the fly hordes, I choose my weapons carefully, ruthlessly you might say.

At first, I was swatting, then carefully picking up each individual fly, after which I cleaned the surface upon which it fell with my trusty Mrs. Meyers all purpose cleaner. Later in the battle, there were so many, all I could do to keep up was swat furiously. This morning the battlefield of my apartment is strewn with black dots everywhere. I have to work today but tonight when I get home I'll hoover up the fallen, clean thoroughly so as to make sure I remove all fly carcasses, fly bits and bad energy.

Before Rat, this fly influx would have been quite horrifying to me, but at this point, I find it merely annoying. I saw a few living flies this morning, but they were sluggish and could easily be swatted. The poison is doing its job. I will prevail.

Sometimes I have a romantic fantasy about living out in the country, but based on my encounters with the Wild Kingdom this spring/summer, that dream has fallen by the wayside. What's good about the natural world is very good. What's bad is truly awful. Heavy sigh. 'Scuse me now while I swat two of three of them. Did I mention that flip flops are excellent fly swatters? They really are.

22 comments:

Whitney Lee said...

No, you are not alone. I've found myself dipping into that well. I've waffled between lazy escapism (hello hot tea and good book) and busy cleaning/clearing. I figure it can't hurt to clear out old things and clean and organize what's left. If nothing else I feel a sense of purpose while doing it and the warm glow of accomplishment when done. I am literally packing up and sweeping out what has no purpose in my life anymore. Hopefully enough of that will get me back on a more even keel...

debra said...

Holy crap, Batman, what an intense summer! We've also had a couple of swarms of flies, one on the front porch; another in the barn. And buzzards. Cleaning up old ideas and thought patterns? Wow.

NanU said...

I'm so glad there's not a blackfly problem here. The French don't understand about screens for doors and windows, though, so whenever it's nice out and I try to get some fresh air in the house, there are some regular flies who invite themselves in.
Fortunately, I have a weapon against them: Sienne not only gets some fun cat-exercise, but she gobbles them up too. Spick&span!

Hope the bad parts of summer end soon.

kbrow said...

Flip flops are good roach killers, as well. I had plenty of the Wild Kingdom in Hawaii, what with centipedes in my car, rats in my house, and scorpions on my dog agility equipment.

I LOVE that you would use some deadly poison to kill your flies, than wipe up with Mrs. Meyers cleaner. One needs an arsenal of the most effective tools, I say.

steven said...

it's the strangest experience to know that the wallowing through the pudding of my summer mind is something that others are inside in their own experiencing. i can't pinpoint any specifics. it's like a presence, a film, a gap, a space, a loss of current. there's always something enters the room of my life after a period of this. so of course, i'm nervous and also hopeful about what it might be! no expectations . . . just hope! steven

Reya Mellicker said...

I'm feeling strangely hopeful too Steven. Why not?

Whitney I love to clean out and throw away. It's instant gratification. Also love my version of tea and a good book - stupid tv show on Netflix.

Nancy we had nonscreens in San Francisco either. No screens.

Brow I remember your bouts with the wild kingdom in Hawaii. Oy vey.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks to all for words of encouragement. It really helps.

Reya Mellicker said...

Just one more thing - Steven I love the image of pudding to describe this summer. Oh yeah.

Jinksy said...

I've wielded many a flip-flop in my time, but now I have fly swats at all strategic points of the compass. I had an inexplicable plague of flies over a couple of days last summer, but they tended to spend their time crawling over a window, rather than dive bombing me in the room, so were fairly easy to dispense with. My aim improved greatly by the second day...

Pauline said...

Interesting - the comparison to pudding. To me the summer has been more ephemeral than usual, more illusion than reality, except when I've spent time with my grandchildren. Then the days have taken on a clarity that startles me. Still, I feel a sense of urgency and foreboding. Flies and rats... sounds almost Tolkien-ish.

ellen abbott said...

Whoa! Hoards of flies! One thing about this drought, no flies or mosquitos this year or stink bugs so I guess even bad things have their good sides. After you clean up the poison, seal all those cracks.

As for the Summer of Discontent, the only thing I can do is hope. Hope things will get better before we get sucked down into the whirlpool.

Steve Reed said...

Sometimes you just gotta resort to the poison. I'm all for organic and/or environmentally friendly, but there comes a time when you just need to get the job done. Ugh...blackflies.

We've seen very few bugs here in the UK. We've had a few houseflies, and a spider in a previous residence, but so far that's pretty much it!

Reya Mellicker said...

Jinksy - ha! My aim is true. Yours too apparently.

I just realized I could have named this post "flymageddon."

Ravenstar said...

I can relate, only my issues are spiders, who have set up a condo in my bathroom, and bears I've seen several bears this summer, but one actually lumbered up my driveway, one early morning, as I was taking my dogs out to the backyard. I was terrified. My heart was beating as fast as a hummingbird's fluttering wings and my legs felt like a bowl of warm noodles.
This, too, shall pass. Hang in there everyone!

Rebecca Clayton said...

Hmmm....a bunch of buzzy black flies....you may have an answer to the mysterious disappearance of the rogue rat.
I've had a clutch of blowflies turn up suddenly due to a dead rodent in the walls somewhere. I think of them as nature's clean-up squad, like Debra's buzzards. No wonder you're thinking about cleaning house. It's in the air!

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Do those nasty little fly things bite? I came home from DC with lots of little bites on my legs. We don't have so many pests here but there is a little gecko living in my floorboards. He comes out sometimes in the evenings and we let him be. My husband has named him Gordon.

Reya Mellicker said...

They haven't bitten me. Sheesh that's all I need. Jeanette were you hanging around in the grass? Could be chiggers.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Not so many flies here now, but a couple of months ago they were swarming around the doorways. I'm such a bad aim with the swatter that it is very frustrating when flies get in the house! In a few months the cold will keep them in abeyance. 'Til then keep swatting!

Washington Cube said...

It's the weather that are driving them to seek inside. Ants, too.

Rinkly Rimes said...

How I LOVE to hear about your fly discomfort! I write from Oz, probably the fly capital of the world. But do we get them indoors? Never! Because fly screens are part of everyday life.( They do sometimes sit on the picnic, though.)
There's a hint of Spring in the air here now. The first sign? Cyclists with home-made helmets on their heads to protect them from Magpies! These birds love human hair for their nests! It's quite possible to lose part of ones' scalp to them! As you say, the natural world is pretty scary.
Though not quite as scary as Washington!

Reya Mellicker said...

Yikes!! The magpies actually SCALP people? Holy cow.

We have screens in DC, but in the case of flymaggedon, they were not as effective as they're supposed to be.

Barbara Martin said...

Reya, it's the energy in the air that affects everything.

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