Sunday, August 06, 2006

On arthropods.

The Daeguba System is in peril. It has been infiltrated by the most evil and icky empire of them all: the phylum arthropoda.

I returned home after an exhausting, caffeine-palsied night of chatting with my l33t hax0r friends in the PC bang across the street, flicked on the living room light and ... arrrghhhh! A bug! Fuck. I can't describe what kind of bug it was or I'll chunder all over the computer monitor and it's not my monitor to chunder all over.

These bugs have no name but you know the kind I mean. They have no name because naming them would imply that they belong to a species, that they fall in love, mate, have families, family friends, innocent hobbies like frisbee golf and flying remote control airplanes. But they are not, not, not a species. They are mutants, genetic mutants that spawn in the dingy creases of the world, wherever there is a basement sink, a forgotten-about space behind a toilet, or a person sleeping with his mouth left precariously wide open. But if I were to name this bug - thus implying it belongs to a species with bloodlines and ancestors and immigration papers and dignity, which I remind you it does not, damn it - if I were to name this bug, firm believer in onomatopoeia that I am (even though "onomatopoeia", while a very funny-sounding word, is not, itself, onomatopoetic), if I were to name this bug, I would name it "bluoughoughughhhhh!!!" because that is precisely the sound I make when I flick on the lights in my living room and catch one of these bugs, one of these bluoughoughughhhhhs, making a beeline on its 17.256 legs for a drain, a hole in the wall, or a stray pair of underwear to nest in, to squat in for a while, to sit around looking at pornographic magazines or whatever it is these mutant bugs do when they burrow into your dirty underwear for weeks on end.

Of course, now that I've seen one of these things - the beast was so huge that I hesitate to think of it as just "one" - I'm convinced that the apartment is crawling with them. They're in the walls, the floors, the ducts, the vents - it's like they were planted by the KGB, they're everywhere - in the sink, in my clothes, inside my body, inside each other like matryoshka dolls, an infinite regress of crawly fuckers, each more hideously deformed than the last.

Tonight I'm sleeping in two pairs of boxers, with one pair on backwards to keep out even the cagiest of Marine special op bluoughoughughhhhs. And by sleeping, I mean rolling around gasping, sweating, and whispering the rosary through clenched teeth. And by the rosary, I mean that one rosary, the one that's supposed to prevent nighttime bug visitations.

It's fascinating to me - and this is a blog post that I aborted earlier in the week because I thought it was stupid, but now that it's topical ... - that people are so revolted by bugs. It's practically universal among human beings, this revulsion, with the notable exception of entomologists, beekeepers, beard-of-bees wearers, stinkbug huffers, bedbug bite-permitters, ladybug daters, antfarm farmers, brevity-of-the-mayfly's-life-span reiteraters, fishermen, rolly polly with-a-stick pokers, and silverfish sympathizers. Also, most humans don't seem to be too creeped out by monarch butterflies, for whatever reason. Think they're so damn regal ...

Why are we disgusted by bugs, such that we can't help but dry heave when we see some little black speck wriggling around on the floor? Does the nausea serve some evolutionary purpose? Or could it be something more capricious than that? The fear of the mechanical, the unthinking, the metallic/robotic? The same reason we are, sometimes against our own will, forced to conclude that Steven Spielberg's A.I. was a smoldering piece of shit?

Dr. Joel Smaldone of Rutgers says ... ha ha.

One of my worst memories - and it feels very recent, though I must have been shorter than four feet at the time - is of standing on the sidelines during a recreational soccer game, sipping a Capri Sun leftover from halftime, kicking the dirt around, moping, when I glanced up and saw two dragonflies mating, making love, hovering there, fucking in midair, struggling to get it done while still staying aloft, like two little rods, two pencil leads dumb and unalive, hovering, stuck together by another little rod, almost invisible, a dragonfly penis, a tube bubbling with warm dragonfly spermatozoa. Barf. The sight inevitably brought to mind Discovery Channel shots of jet fighters refueling, so lewd and daring and sexy, and I admit I had a hard time looking away from the spectacle. But eventually, I got so queasy that I spit out a mouthful of Capri Sun and walked away, to go stand by the alcoholic assistant coach, whose breath reminded me of the sad people at the bowling alley.

By the way, it was a house centipede. The bug, I mean. I looked it up.

God, I fucking hate bugs.

No comments: