Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Last thing you want to wake up to...

It was up too early last Saturday morning after a Friday night out. The sun fought me out of bed. It was too nice out, and I had too much to do. I shuffled through my living room, about to turn the corner into my kitchen when I heard my roommate, Whitney, yell out from her bedroom.

"I'm so sorry, Vanessa! They're leaving soon!" she yelped.


Did Whitney bring home a guy...multiple sketchy guys from a bar who were now passed out on our kitchen counters? (impossible). My sleepy brain didn't understand the warning.

"Wait, what?"

As she popped out of her bedroom to explain, I heard "them".

My jaw dropped, limbs froze. I reverted back to age 5.

I'm in the mulched playground outside St. Mary's School in a plaid jumper. The red remnants of snack time's juice box are probably stained into the corners of my mouth. A classmate points at my shoulder and shrieks in terror. Instinct tells me to swat. The bee stings me on my hand and my shoulder.

From that moment on I was terrified of bees. And since bees smell fear (no idea if that's factual) I have been stung four miserable times since the kindergarten playground debacle. On my butt cheek, on my arm and twice on my thighs.

So when I heard that unmistakable drone a few feet ahead, in my own home, I was frozen with terror.

How do I, of all people, live with a beekeeper.

Just a few feet across from me on the windowsill in my kitchen was a netted box stuffed with 12,000 live bees. They're buzzing like neon, clumped in a black dementor from Harry Potter mound.

I would have preffered the sketchy bar dudes.

Whitney owns a honey bee hive. She keeps it on the rooftop of the building where she works. It was time to add bees to her hive and through some horrendous series of misfortunes, the 12,000 caged new bees ended up sleeping over on Friday night.

"Can't they get out of that box?"

"No. It's totally secure. I brought them home in a cab."

I imagined the bees loose in a cab, stingers tapping against the plastic partition as they covered the driver. My palms got sweaty.

They were gone less than a couple hours later. I thanked Saint Mary.

Whitney came home that day with two new stings. Both were swollen into pink balls.

I worry one day a bee will follow Whitney home in her pocket, cling to the lining of her coat until she unlocks the door and it has the chance to torpedo out toward me.

I can live with that fear but not with 12,000 bees.

Got it, Whit?


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  2. Thought of you when I read this: