A Boiling Fuzz

Let’s go ahead and admit that the bees started it all. Think back to when those bees came. Remember? You were upset at my black socks because I had shorts on.

“No, no, no,” you said and tried to take them off. “No black socks with shorts.”

I pulled my foot away. You grabbed my socks. Your fingers all over my ankles. There was a brief love-struggle and then we both laughed.

You tugged your shirt back over your belly. “No, no,” you said again when I still wouldn’t take them off. “First the lizards, now you want to wear this to the interview? I’m serious. We can’t keep goofing around. Off!”

“The lizards were supposed to get rid of the spiders in our bedroom.” I said. “They were to take care of you. You said no chemicals. My solution was organic.”

“One damn spider,” you said. “Just one. A shoe would have finished him.”

After that I went outside and that’s when I saw them. I yelled back in, “There’s a bunch of bees!”

You didn’t believe me. You never believed me. “Shut up,” you said.

“Come look.”

You stood on the other side of the sliding glass door wearing one of my shirts. You put both hands on the glass in front of me, leaning toward me, but afraid to come out. I wanted to put my palms on the prints yours made there.

When you saw all the bees you pulled your hands from the glass. Your prints lingered. Bees a boiling fuzz on the water filtration system, a yellow buzzing sponge. They must have set up shop in there. I didn’t notice anything out of whack when I put the salt in the filtration system the week before. I opened up the top of the metal box, removed the plastic lid and poured in the heavy bag of salt without ever thinking once of bees. You would think I’d have noticed something. I poured the salt in every week like I was supposed to. I said this to you.

“You fail to notice a lot of things actually.” A little huff of contempt.

I told you I didn’t do it, that I didn’t know where the bees came from. I only let loose the lizards. The lizard loosing was done with love, I added.

That’s when you started standing away from me. Right then. I noticed it then. A pulling away like when I accidentally fart in front of your friends and everyone looks at their drinks like ice is suddenly fucking amazing. Later, I noticed it again at the grocery store. Remember buying all those gallon jugs of natural spring water? We both worried that bee shit would leak into our water pipes and when we took a shower it would end up getting inside of us somehow and we’d never get it out? You had dreams of bees snarled in your hair. Bees bulging and stuttering in your forearms. I stood by the scanner and you stood by the magazines while the gallon jugs slid by one after another. They had toy iguanas on the shelf next to the register. I held it flapping about in the air at the end of a silver chain. You never looked. The scanner beeped and beeped as each jug went by.

In the car on the way home, it was quiet. I could only hear you breathing. So I asked what you had been reading at the magazine stand.

“Home and Garden.” you said. “An article about pesticide.”

The car went back to being quiet. I guess we forgot about the radio. We were both afraid, you and I.

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