Tuesday, March 15, 2005

bichos

I've been having the most horrible, nightmarish experience this past week with bugs. Every evening when I'm in my apartment, basically as soon as the sun sets, I start to feel a tickling sensation on my legs. I'll look quickly at the spot that tickles and there's nothing there. I'll continue what I'm doing, then suddenly the tickling comes back, then a sharp bite. Once again, upon examination, there's nothing there but a small, red mark.

Then, shortly after I get into bed, the same thing starts up, but all over my body. Tickling sensations, a quick shine of the flashlight, but nothing to see. Then a sharp bite. It happens over and over, all night long. I lie in a disturbed half sleep, feeling like I've somehow been transformed into a character in a Poe story. I can't fully sleep until the sun starts to come up at 5 or 6 and the invisible bugs finally leave me in peace, but just until the next sunset.

My friend Sam thinks I've got the DT's. And maybe that's the case. It has, after all, been 4 months since baseball season ended and I've been experiencing some serious withdrawl. But still, the read bites all over my body make me think that there's something more to this than an active imagination.

So I've spent all week spraying Raid all over my apartment and scattering this horrible insecticide powder that my landlady gave me. I'm sure I've taken 5 or 6 years off my life just by breathing all this crap in. Unfortunately, these poisons seem to have had absolutely no effect as far as shortening the lives of my invisible roommates.

After 3 or 4 consecutive nightmarish, sleepless nights, I decided to track down a fumigator. Asking around, I was directed to a guy who is supposedly the best in town at the trade. Happily, he doesn't think I'm going insane. The perpetrator, he thinks, is a microscopic bug called an acaro. It's a bug that lives normally on human skin -- he says we've all got them living on us all the time (yuck!). But there's a strand of acaro that is specific to animals, and when it attaches itself to humans, it causes a lot of irritation. It doesn't actually move into our skin like its cousin, but it lives in our blankets, mattresses, and rugs, and comes out at night to harass us and eat our dead, flaking skin. So I guess that's what I get for sleeping with burros.

Anyway, the fumigator affirmed the fact that these bugs are immune to traditional insecticides, but he's got a special potion that he thinks will take care of them. He's promised to come by today and cover my apartment in it, so stay tuned and we'll see what happens...

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