Sleep Marching Ants and the Rat-Pack Bee


Excessive heat does funny things to you.

You don’t realize how much you come to rely on air conditioning in your house or car until it’s gone. The extent to which physical comfort dictates your sanity…underestimated to say the least.

As a renter, there are many issues that arise overtime that you might handle differently if it were your own home.

Take for example, your AC unit dying during the hottest two weeks of the year.

Most would strive to resolve this issue in say, a few days. Not 1.5 weeks.

Or a leak in the ceiling that becomes a larger water stain every time a heavy rain storm passes through.

Most would not wait until the ceiling falls in on you. Apparently some have no problem with that.

But hey, what do I know? I’m only a lowly renter.

Big Fisch and I have spent the last week and a half braving the east coast humidity and summer heat sans AC, and it is a miracle we have not killed one another.

The saying “hot and bothered” has taken on a whole new meaning.

I imagine the mental regression you go through is similar to that of one stranded on an island.  First disbelief, then determination to find a solution, then anger when no solution is found,  then constant irritation, then the crazy hits you, until finally…slap happy sets in. That’s when you know the end is approaching… Everything seems humorous. You want to grumble, but a giggle comes out instead. You feel like crying, but only hysterical laughing escapes.

You almost swallow one of the many flies that has snuck in through the open windows, and it doesn’t phase you. You take regular ice cold showers and can’t remember for the life of you why cold water ever bothered you before.

Heat slowly eats away at your sanity.

Last night as Big Fisch and I vegged out in our bedroom near the borrowed AC window unit, the slap happy started to surface. Big Fisch laid on his back, staring at the ceiling while I laid on the floor, rolling out my sore muscles with a foam roller.

“Hey Layla” he said while pointing at the ceiling. “Check out the water stain…it looks like a bumble bee now!”

I shifted my body and turned my neck to get a look for myself. “Oh wow – you’re right!”

“Ha. Ha ha ha. It doesn’t look like Simba anymore.”

“Yeah yeah, I see the stinger!” I climbed on the bed and sat next to Big Fisch so I could get a better look.

“- No, that’s his feet.”

“But bees don’t have legs or feet.”

“Yes they do! Ooh, I’ve got a great idea. I’ll take a picture and outline him as I see him!” Big Fisch proceeded to pull out the iPad and do just that.

I turned to my phone and started reading an ebook as my short attention span set in. A few minutes later my new found concentration was interrupted with:

“HA! Look Layla, look!” He turned towards me with a proud, goofy smile and held out the iPad displaying his visionary bee:

bee ceiling leak

“It’s a rat-pack bee!” he exclaimed.

We both lost it. Cracking up, we sat there laughing at this bee that was coming to life on our ugly, damaged ceiling. We had the sudden urge to show everyone we knew.

The heat was having it’s delirious effects and all I seemed to be able to think about was insects. I got up to brush my teeth and when I returned, there sat a big nasty bug on my pillow. Although the AC window unit was our only saving grace, it didn’t fit perfectly in our window and all sorts of bugs were finding their way in.

After Big Fisch killed the bug like a gentlemen, I settled into bed and we eventually drifted off.  That is, until a few hours later when I found myself discussing more bugs with Big Fisch.

I had been asleep for a few hours, I was pretty certain, but I felt a tapping on my arm and a causal elbow nudge.

“Hey – hey Layla. Do you have like a…a..flashlight or something?

What in the world?

“Huh? Why do you need a flashlight?” I managed.

“A flashlight or something. Do you have one over there? I …I need to get a better look at all these lines of ants marching on the ceiling”  Big Fisch asked as he gestured over to the nightstand while casually lying on his side with his head propped up.  His body posture looked as if he were sun bathing on an island while smoking a cigar, nonchalantly chatting with me about the march of the ants that was apparently taking place on our ceiling.

I sat up and looked at him. “No. No, I don’t have a flashlight for you.”

“I need something to help me see. My eyes feel a little blurry and fuzzy…I can’t see all the ants marching in lines up there. I need a light.”

I glanced up at the ceiling to see if there was any truth to this absurd statement. My deliriously sleepy and over heated mind pictured ants marching onto a picnic blanket in search of watermelon, apple pie, corn on the cob, and fried chicken.  Finding nothing, I looked over at him, amazed at how calm  he was compared to his usual sleep talking freak outs. “Hun, no – there are no ants. Go back to sleep.”

“Oh…are you sure? My eyes are a little fuzzy.”

“Well  I don’t know why your eyes are fuzzy but there are no ants. Go to sleep.”

I rolled back over and drifted back off, trusting he would soon follow suit.

The next morning he mentioned nothing about said ants. But the rat-pack bee? Looks like he’s here to stay. That is..until the ceiling falls in and finally gets replaced.

I got to thinking…maybe living in excessive heat is similar to what Big Fisch’s mind feels like at night when he sleep talks/walks…delirious, crazy, slap happy…and full of insects.

Man,  I’m thankful my life usually involves AC.