I managed to make it well into my sixth decade without ever having a bug in my ear until last summer. I am not referring to that cute phrase people use when they want to give you a hint about something by whispering in your ear – I am telling you it was a real bug. Inside the personal space of my actual ear.
This never once happened to me in the most logical of environs, like when I was a kid, raised on 8 country acres at the top of Munger Road hill in southern Ohio amid horses and horse flies, ducks, gnats, chickens, lice, rabbits, cats and dogs with tics and one goat, fireflies and mosquitoes and ordinary house flies and the neighbor’s cows which were walking bug habitats. This bug woke me from a deep sleep in the safety and comfort of my own bed. There was absolutely no warning…..suddenly I was possessed.
I thought at first that a B52 was landing in my backyard. Then I realized it was an internal thing and what ensued was mayhem. If it had been filmed it would have been mistaken for an exorcism at the very least. Paranormal behavior to be sure. Wild, eye-popping panic and a snarl, mine, accompanied by distorted grimacing, jumping up and down on the bed as if I was plugged into jumper cables, trying to expel the satanic demon. The 10 decibel BBBUUUZZIIINNGG and then the thousand-a-second-vibrations of wings that seemed like a hummingbird smacking against the insides of my ear canal. I jumped to a standing position, began hopping around the room shaking my head from side to side, then up and down, and in a nano-second I considered:
a Q-tip – no! – I might push it in deeper – OMG – to my brain!
water – no! – I might float it in deeper – OH NO! to my brain!
suction of some kind – the dustbuster – no no no! – I might break my eardrum! Or suck out my brain!
All the while I am spinning and twisting my head to such an extent that it must have spun almost a full 360. I hoped I could potentially force the monster out by sheer vibration and centrifugal force because the SOUND was unbearable. The flapping was horrendous but the NOISE! I pictured the thing, his feet glued by earwax to the floor of my ear canal, beating his wings in frustrated fury. Every once in a while the bug would stop. And I would stop. Then it would start flapping and buzzing again, even more violently than before. I was screeching – I was yelling! Surely he would soon wear himself out and die. Or would I? Should I jump in the car and dash to the emergency room? Could I drive? Could I keep still enough in the driver’s seat to control the car? Should I just call 911? Hello? YES!! HELP! I have a bug in my ear! Bring equipment!
And then it stopped. I could not believe it – I didn’t trust the silence. I braced myself for another round. But all was quiet and still. I rushed sweaty and panting to the bathroom and got the magnifying mirror, trying to look in my ear, or in my hair, for the monster that had invaded my body space. There was nothing to be found.
Did it really happen? Was I dreaming? Is the devil gone?
Send me some butterflies.