I'm supposed to be studying so of course this is the perfect time to procrastinate and write a story.
Several days ago, as I lied in a post-slumber state of quasi-wakefulness, I cracked open my eyes towards the clock to see the time. But a dark spot on my pillow caught my interest--specifically, that blurry spot seemed to be moving. Slowly. Towards my face.
Confusion jolted me awake and I focused more clearly on the spot: it was a little greyish-brown caterpillar, inching along at a purposeful yet methodical pace. Inch-inch-inch, the little caterpillar inched along. My first reaction was to just lay there and watch it, and wonder what exciting adventures it had planned for its day, crawling to I-didn't-know-where. It was little and cute. Aw.
Then...Wait. There is a caterpillar on my pillow.
Let's suspend the concerns that, had I not awoken, our little caterpillar friend could have crawled into my ear or up my nose or otherwise violated me in some sort of unsanitary manner. Those thoughts flashed through my head. But I was more concerned with how this caterpillar arrived in my bed in the first place. I do not have any plants in my apartment; there are no flower boxes on my 2nd storey* windows. Maybe a moth found its way in and I did not notice, but Gurdy the Cat is famous 'round these parts for launching strong defensive maneuvers against any invaders that mistakenly enter our confines. I have seen him battle a moth or two, and it is quite a sight. (...mostly because he has crossed eyes and tends to miss the first few times he attacks and he is a dramatic spaz, but if he swats at the air enough he will hit something eventually and the moth usually meets its demise. Anyway--that's another story.)
I used a paper to scoop up the caterpillar and I ran it downstairs, where I flicked it onto the bush by our door. My neighbors have seen me in my underwear numerous times, no big deal, and anyway this was a quick trip and I ran back up to my apartment to solve the bigger mystery at hand. Did I not clean under my bed lately? Actually I had Swiffered just the day before. Hmm. And then the thought occurred to me, I am so gay, my bed makes butterflies.
Okay, let's be serious now. I decided an investigation was in order, so I filled a bucket with soap and grabbed my mop, and I waked the 5 steps it takes to cross the span of my pathetic studio apartment back to my bed. And I draggged off the mattress and flipped the frame on its side. Inventory of contents under the bed:
- 1 stack of books under the center, which pushed the sagging boards up for much-needed support
- 1 pair of rather-valuable K2 inline skates I haven't used since I wore them in the skating "challenge" on the Real World/Road Rules Extreme Challenge 2000, but I still keep because I am going to use them again SOMEDAY
- A box filled with cake pans, cupcake pans, and other various kitchen gadgets that I never use, but...see K2 explanation above
- 1 box of dog toys, from when I was a Humane Society volunteer and foster-parented puppies
I dragged everything out of the way, mopped, and examined the floor for signs of other life. Nothing. So I began to move all the stuff back, but I stopped at the dog toys. Maybe there was something in there Gurdy would like to have? Perhaps something that rattled. He loves rattly toys. Hmm. I opened the box.
The last time I fostered any puppies was when I lived with my beau, and he moved out a few years ago. Therefore, this box had stayed under my bed, unopened and periodically shoved out of the way as I cleaned, for approximately two years. Unbeknownst to me, along with the dog toys and a blanket and a food dish, I had stashed several cans of puppy chow in that box. Those cans had ruptured, squished out their contents, and provided a delightful little buffet for unmentionable sorts of creatures.
I'm so gay, I scream when I see bugs. Not so funny anymore, is it, you big girl?
How did I not know this was happening under there? For some reason, those cans didn't smell bad. This led me to believe they popped open a long time ago, slowly, and I never noticed anything smelling odd from under my bed. Either that, or I was just a complete pig, a thought that I could not shake and it made me feel really bad about myself. But no one else noticed anything strange...and there have been plenty of other...you know what I'm saying. Anyway--
So I ran downstairs, in my underwear again but this was too gross for me to stop and care, and I brought the box outside and threw it in the dumpster. Maybe the caterpillar wasn't from that box and it was all a coincidence. But at that point it didn't matter. It wasn't the bugs that bugged me; it was the clusters of eggs on the cans. OMG. It was an entire ecosystem under there.
The moral of the story: I don't know. Maybe this is just a warning to clean under your bed today. And open every box. You never know what you'll find.
*Yes, this is how you're really supposed to spell this word. I promise.