Ok, I’m being dramatic. It’s not death, per se, but something that scares me nearly to that point.
Look, we’ve all got our weird hang-ups – mine is birds. I’ll pause for laughter.
Since I was younger I have been afraid of winged things to the point that a wave of emotion comes over me that I have never in my life felt about anything else, the only feeling coming close being that one time I thought I was going to fall out of my roller coaster seat – so I would categorize this shit as fear. BIG, STRONG, FEAR.
I’m having a hard time even pressing the keys describing this to you. It’s the wings. The flapping. The sound, the thought of feeling their claws, the uncleanliness. I honestly almost just threw up.
I’d like to think I’m growing as a human, though, because Boy and I have been living with a bird’s nest in our air conditioning slip – which is right in the living room, where we spend most of our time – for the past four weeks. When the maintenance guy came up here to install both of our air conditioners he found a nest filled with eggs as blue as a Tiffany box in the corner of one, and told me he simply didn’t have the heart to remove it, as he knew even touching the nest would leave the eggs neglected by their mother.
I would be a liar if I didn’t disclose this next bit of information, and it may make me look like a terrible person, but my knee jerk reaction was, “Oh my god, just push the nest out of the window, who cares?”
I relented, however, and told him I totally agreed. “Let’s let them hatch, and when they’re gone you can come back up and put the air conditioning in,” I said. “This will be fine,” I told myself.
Going on the assumption that these were robin’s eggs I got to Googling. It would seem they sit for about two weeks prior to birth, then two weeks after before the little guys fly off into the world.
One day, a cluster of shrill tweets (I can’t believe I’m even using that word in a non-social networking context) suddenly came from behind the slip – they were born on Memorial Day. Every day, as reliable as CNN throwing up a shitty headline about the Kardashians when there are more pressing issues abound, they started their tinny song when the sun came up and ceased as it went down. As the days passed, their little voices changed key; they were growing up, and I wasn’t entirely hating it. Although the prospect of them being closer to leaving was a wonderful one, it was also the fact that life had begun and was in its earliest stages not ten feet from where I sit daily. Sure, I hate the little fuckers for the most part, but this was kind of cool.
UNTIL FRIDAY. FRIDAY ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.
Boy came home from work and sat down with me to relax, and suddenly started itching. Upon further inspection, black bugs tinier than the business end of a safety pin were on his skin. And on his computer. And on the coffee table.
Not enough in volume to incite total panic in my brain, but enough to make me start Googling insecticides. He brushed it off (literally) and we got ready to head out for the night. As we were just about to leave his voice floated through the living room to my ears in the bedroom: “Come look at this.” This was not the voice of a pleasant man.
There he stood, in front of the box in the wall that housed the little creatures, now surrounded by A TON OF TINY BLACK BUGS. Apparently, they were coming from the nest. This is an outcome I had never considered.
We flew to Home Depot and bought the strongest insecticide we could find and I actually had a pang of fear of an entirely different sort for our feathered friends – would this be too harsh, killing them, therefore making moot the fact that we let them inhabit that space? It didn’t matter because, when it came down to it, our home and health and the health of Link was way more important.
Not only did we spray the clusters (twice), we also duct taped around the slivered opening, sealing the whole thing shut. We know we’re going to be opening the whole thing up soon and pushing an empty nest out, so we decided to wait it out and see if solely insecticide would do the job.
It would seem that it has – after the spraying and a VERY thorough cleaning of the entire apartment, there is no more itching and no sign of bugs. The chirps were very few today, so I think that by tomorrow they’ll all be gone and then we can open that hole of horrors and see what awaits us.
For now? Well, the duct tape job has kind of grown on me.