It’s been nearly a month since I last wrote about my life-story. My apologies for keeping you waiting so long! I’m sure you’ve been losing sleep, waiting with bated breath, wondering how my saga continues. However, for this post, I’m keeping it light and breezy with (what I think is) an entertaining anecdote. Sorry to disappoint. But sometimes you have to break up the seriousness with a bit of humor.
As I last wrote (here), my dad and Felicia left on a five-week road trip to Mexico. I was SO happy to see the wicked step-monster go. It gave me a lovely break from her evil ways. During those weeks that I was alone at home, I got to live out my fairytale fantasy of being Susie Homemaker. DJ and I would arrive at the house around the same time after work and I would attempt to make dinner for us. After we were done doing dishes, we’d snuggle on the couch and watch TV until it was time for him to return home.
The nights were the hardest for me. I didn’t like being all alone for so many nights in a row, but DJ wasn’t willing to rock the boat too much with his conservative parents. It would not have been good for either of us to have him stay the night.
On the weekends, we’d invite his siblings and cousins over to hang out and party. We’d drink and play games until the wee hours of the night. I was the oldest of the bunch and the only one with a place for everyone to gather. Some nights we kept it mellow and just rented movies to watch.
One week-night, after DJ went home, I was fast asleep in my cabin-like room. Even though I was scared out of my mind to be home alone, I didn’t awaken easily. (In my younger years, I was quite the heavy-sleeper.) But for one reason or another on that particular night, I awoke to a strange, subtle sound in my room. The room was pitch black due to the dark wood paneling and wood shutters. There wasn’t a shred of light coming in so I couldn’t see a thing. All I could do was hear what sounded to me like something (an animal maybe??) chewing on something. I shot up in bed and listened intently, trying to place the sound. It was coming from the right side of my bed. My heart pounded out of my chest. I listened. The sound seemed to be moving closer toward me. My panic grew bigger. Is it a rat? A mouse? What the eff is making that sound and what the eff is it eating???
On the left side of my bed was my ultra-bright, brand-new, halogen lamp that I loved so much, but I didn’t dare turn it on. I was too scared of what I would see. I crawled across the bed to the phone and paged DJ. It was around 4:00AM but I knew he would hear his beeper and call me back. Seconds later my phone rang. I began to cry as I explained to DJ that he needed to come as quickly as possible to rescue me and kill whatever monster had entered my room.
DJ didn’t live around the corner so it took him a good 20 minutes to get to my house. While he was in transit, I heard “The Chewing Sound” make its way ONTO MY MATTRESS! I had inherited Felicia’s old bed when I moved in and she had left the box spring wrapped in the plastic it came with. The reason I knew “The Chewing Sound” had moved up from the ground and onto my bed was because I could hear the plastic wrapper on the box spring moving. I freaked out even more! I ran across the bed and jumped onto a little table in the corner, all the while still in complete darkness (picture it as dark as a hotel room), crying my eyes out, waiting for my knight to arrive.
When I heard DJ come through the front door, I cried out for him to come get me. (Thankfully, I had given him a key to the house so he could let himself in if he arrived before me after work.) He picked me up off the little table and carried me out to the living room. (My hero!) DJ went back to my room to find “The Chewing Sound’. He tore off my sheets and lifted my mattress…but he found nothing. He propped my mattress up against the wall but still saw nothing. Lastly, he pulled the box spring off the bed frame and leaned it on the wall alongside the mattress.
The entire area under my bed was now exposed. However, it was packed with boxes. I had about 10 – 15 boxes of crap I had been lugging with me from home to home ever since moving out of my childhood house three years prior. I had my mom’s fine china and crystal glasses under there. I had photo albums and report cards and artwork I had made in preschool. I had the clothes my mom had worn to the hospital before she died and her old purse and a lock of her hair. My whole life was in boxes under my bed. “The Chewing Sound” could be in any one of those boxes but DJ could no longer hear it.
I braved my fears and went into the room to help DJ locate the sound, but I couldn’t hear it anymore either. I went back to wait in the living room as DJ shook and tore open boxes, expecting a rodent to scatter out…Nothing…
DJ came out to tell me that he had looked in every imaginable space in my room – under my TV stand, under my dresser, nightstand, chair, inside my closet, but nothing had turned up. I began to cry, imagining this animal still in my room somewhere. I begged him to please continue looking. He went back to the room and decided to close the door so as to not let “The Chewing Sound” escape, should it try to run. This time he saw what he came to find! It was behind the door! A FREAKIN’ POTATO BUG! AAAGGGHHH!!!
Have you ever seen a potato bug? They are HIDEOUS creatures! From what I recall, they are flesh-toned bugs with what looks like a human face. I used to say that they reminded me of a fetus. Potato Bugs thrive where there is dirt. Well, since Felicia’s backyard was a giant lot of dirt, in Potato Bug Land, it was a palace! A resort for Potato Bugs! I had seen a few in the back patio over the course of the year living there, but never had I seen one INSIDE the house. I had seen June Bugs the size of walnuts in the house, but never ever a damn Potato Bug! I detest them so much that I can’t even bring myself to look them up to post a photo of one on here. It will give me nightmares! So if you are really curious, please Google them yourself.
The funny thing is that this wasn’t my first encounter with a Potato Bug. During Freshman or Sophomore year, I was with my mom in the garage while she was doing laundry. She was wearing one of her maxi dresses and her white Dr. Scholl’s wooden sandals. Suddenly, she saw something crawling on the ground and she screamed. It was some type of bug we had never seen before. As she went to smack it with a broom, the thing jumped and landed on her toes. We both screamed! And then I fainted. No, not really, but I don’t remember the rest. I’m too traumatized. I think she just whacked the shit out of it until it died. We later learned that it had been a Potato Bug. (Somewhere in one of my many boxes there is a note from my High School BFF Jessica, with a Potato Bug she drew for me after I told her that story.)
And this ladies and gentlemen, has been my intermission story before I return to the gory details of what went down that summer of 1992. <Cue suspenseful, melodramatic music>
|Do they still make these? Wow.|