The bug doctor

The Bug Doctor tolerated no bugs.
She was a spiny old woman of about forty, her skin all shrunk into her face and her eyes covered by thick circle-framed glasses.

She dressed in faded plastic overalls that always squeaked when she moved, and once I had seen the grey shirt underneath, that was spotlessly clean too.

Her hands were more liked gnarled claws, that always clicked impatiently, waiting to find new bugs to destroy.

She tolerated no bugs.

My mother called her once, during that time when sweaters start coming off. It was the day after the celebration of hearts and Chocolates where girls and boys kissed on the lips.
I was sitting at home, pretending to do my homework, while someone on the telly kept crying when suddenly the room start buzzing.

I hate bugs.
I saw a hundred, no a thousand bugs flying about the room, all sticking to the tellyscreen.

Terrified, I began to cry.

Then my mother called the bug lady, while we hid under the kitchen door.
Well I did, my mother was braver.

I heard the swish swish of the bug lady’s pants, and peeked through the cracks.
A flying ant came and sat on my nose,
I screamed.

I imagined a hundred, no a thousand ants flying into my open mouth, and then crawling out of my eyes,
That shut me up rather quick.
But one did slip in. I spat it out.

By now I was standing before the sink, staring in wonderment, because the bug lady had sprayed a mist and the ants fell all over us like rain.

A hundred, no, a thousand ants, falling feather light on the floor, their oval wings abandoned like parachutes, while they wriggled towards the door.

Then the bug doctor went stomping, and drawing those ants with a vacuum cleaner, that sucked them all into limbo,
Every last tiny piece.

The bug lady squinted down at me, with  narrowed eyes
I was really tiny, I admit, rather small was my size.

The bug doctor then aimed, the vacuum gun at me
I screamed “but I’m not a bug”
She laughed and counted down from three.

From that day I live with bugs, even some under my pillow
Because the bug doctor turned out to be
Quite a nasty fellow.

She plucked my hair and half my eyebrows, to draw out those bug-wings
Though I might have let them quite easily, wash out with a swim.

The bug doctor tolerated no bugs,
And I can tolerate but a few
But if you see a hundred, no a thousand bugs
You know what to do!

PS I haven’t lost my mind. Though A hundred, no a thousand bugs did enter my room.
I beat them myself, no bug doctor.
A lot of them got in my clothes.


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