May 13, 2011 § 3 Comments
No, no. There are no verbs in that title. Just an adjective and a noun.
Yes, friends, I’m talking about my most hated enemy (and Milton’s, as it turns out)…the black flies of summertime.
Two years ago, when Robert and I got married, we returned home to find that our windowsills were still in need of painting (the rest of the house having been generally renovated before I moved in–fresh paint, new carpet, deep cleaning, that sort of thing). Robert had a job, so while he worked all day, I stayed in the house with the painters. (Really, I could have used the time to pack up the remains of my apartment, but someone had to stay home with the painters because….) They left the windows open. With the cats, I have to be careful that nobody attempts an escape. With the painters, well, I didn’t know these men from Adam, so I didn’t want to leave our little home open to the world. The windows were open so they wouldn’t dry shut (of course, as anyone who’s ever painted windowsills will tell you, it rarely matters–freshly painted windows are often painted shut no matter what precautions are taken). While I kept the cats and our most prized possessions inside, Milton was tasked with the daunting responsibility of keeping the black flies out.
We returned from our honeymoon in the beginning of June, right when summer settles in for the next three months, and just as we moved in, so did the black flies. The sound of humming wings and small bodies banging against panes of glass unnerved me. Milton got twitchy. Seriously twitchy. Whenever a little black form whizzed by his head, he snapped it out of midair and swallowed it down. When his ears perked up at the sound of angry and incessant buzzing in the corner of a room, he would stare at it and growl. I did what I could from my end. I sprayed flying insect Raid in areas where the animals were less likely to encounter it. I trained the girls to hunt, track, and devour the offending bugs.
Eventually, by August, the flies were all gone.
Until last night.
Robert and I were attempting to have a quasi-serious conversation, but I had trouble making eye contact with him. Three flies drew figure 8’s around our heads and living room. Milton, Annie, and the girls followed them with their eyes, attempting to snap them from the air, chasing them around the house. Robert and I sat there, feeling itchy and twitchy, failing spectacularly at the art of the fly-swatter.
God, I just love Southern summers.
…is it November yet?