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That's no moon - A little less than a happy high
komos
komos
That's no moon
For starflow, and anyone else with their own stories of uninvited guests.

Several years ago, I visited Jamaica with the woman I was then seeing. An academic transplant to the states, she was a native who was thoroughly familiar with the island and utterly fearless, at least so far as introducing me to her home. When I arrived, she had already been there a few days and had made plans for us to stay at a villa on the north coast, well outside of the traditional tourist areas. In the lilt of her newly reasserted patois, she told me about the place, and how she intended to make the absolute most of our time there together.

It was lovely. We spent most of our time sneaking onto private beaches, hanging out at shanty bars along the main road, and getting ourselves invited to some very unusual feasts.1 The week was nothing short of an orgy of the senses.

After one particularly riotous debauch2, I woke to a brilliant morning. The sun was shining, a wind blew through our open window carrying the scent of wild spaces into our bedroom. I lay there, eyes unopened, reveling in the feeling of having absolutely nothing to do except maybe getting up and going for a quick swim. I noticed Michelle playing with my hair, and I thought nothing could possibly be better.

It took me a little while, but I began to realize that since we were spooned together with her facing away from me, it would be tremendously awkward for her to be playing with my hair. As the sensation continued, the realization quickly morphed into a sense of wrongness, which rapidly devolved into stark white horror. I leaped from the bed with ninja-like grace3 and looked down to see one of these poking around on my pillow. It had to have been a good ten inches long4, and it had been trying to crawl on my head. Without thinking, I grabbed the pillow, went over to the open window which had apparently let in something other than a warm, pleasant breeze, and shook our visitor back outside.

Michelle woke up right about then to ask me what was the matter. I figured that there was no sense breaking another's morning reverie with my natural encounters, so I told her nothing. I did fill her in later. She didn't leap like a ninja, though she did think it fairly funny that I had.


1In one case, several families who were in the process of making curried goat on one of the beaches over an open fire invited us to return in several hours to join them. There was singing, roti, and a great deal of Red Stripe.
2I remember a great deal of Red Stripe, a great deal of smoking, and a great deal of amazing sex that was likely witnessed in full by our houseboy.
3By which I mean to say that I managed to not knock everything over.
4By which I mean to say that it was probably the biggest bug I'd ever seen, or have seen since.
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Comments
canonfire From: canonfire Date: April 19th, 2005 06:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
That trumps any story I ever had about the cat.
komos From: komos Date: April 19th, 2005 06:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I bet the cat has more personality.
cosmicserpent From: cosmicserpent Date: April 19th, 2005 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
That is one of the nastiest critters I've ever seen.
komos From: komos Date: April 19th, 2005 06:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
...and it was HUGE! Not "Bigger than my head" huge, but under no circumstances should a bug be that big.
cris From: cris Date: April 19th, 2005 07:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
my equivalent story does not involve any kind of prologue for tropical hedonism, but it does involve me being a child growing up in Manila, and then waking up one morning to find a cockroach that was as large as my fist crawling over my left eye.

Bugs in the tropics are a whole different category of nasty.
komos From: komos Date: April 19th, 2005 07:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
For this story at least, the prologue was necessary as contrast to the state of mind I found myself in. My tolerance for weirdness was pretty sorely tested.

I have no idea what I would have done if it had been on my face when I woke up. How did you deal with it?
cris From: cris Date: April 19th, 2005 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
standard 8 year old response:

bat it away and scream. a lot.

then squash it. often.

but, yeah, roaches were a pretty common sight in the Philippines, and one quickly got used to seeing them scampering across the floor, or between nook and cranny. It was that whole waking up and seeing nothing but carapace that freaked the hell out of me.
komos From: komos Date: April 19th, 2005 07:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I knew there had to be some advantage to brazening out the New England winter.
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komos From: komos Date: April 19th, 2005 07:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know that I would have freaked out over a lizard or a snake. Heck, if it had been something like a gecko, I might have woken up my friend to witness the cuteness.

Ten inch centipedes are NOT cute, however.
cinemama From: cinemama Date: April 19th, 2005 08:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Holy shit! A houseboy you say?
komos From: komos Date: April 19th, 2005 08:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I did indeed. It was a pretty trippy night, and when we talked about it later, each of us recalled seeing him at one window or another at some point. To add to our suspicions, he got very shy around Michelle for the rest of the week.

Good times. Good times.
wisdom_seeker From: wisdom_seeker Date: April 19th, 2005 08:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
*Yea-uck!* I would've utterly freaked to find such a large beastie near my head! I get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it *shiver*
komos From: komos Date: April 19th, 2005 08:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
On. ON my head.
wisdom_seeker From: wisdom_seeker Date: April 19th, 2005 09:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Again, *SHIVER* Yuck!
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komos From: komos Date: April 19th, 2005 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't imagine having to deal with roaches of unusual size on a regular basis. Too much of an UGH factor.
sassyinkpen From: sassyinkpen Date: April 19th, 2005 11:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay for exhibitionistic team debauchery.
Boo for seriously huge and icky bugs.
Yay for houseboys.
komos From: komos Date: April 20th, 2005 12:18 am (UTC) (Link)
We weren't intentionally showin' off, though all things considered, it was pretty groovy. M even went so far as to call him a cheeky monkey just before we left.

Man, I gotta find me some good lovin' soon.
From: corvus_coronis Date: April 20th, 2005 04:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I've made myself curried goat a few times (just the basic keen's curry/cold cuts version)- and had a centipede crawl over my foor once. but not my head >< - your right abpout how freaky those things can be. Unlike most spiders they move so horrifyingly quick too. When I was living in another house that would get them regularly, my dog liked hunting them & scratching them to pieces with her paws.
komos From: komos Date: April 20th, 2005 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
This goat was super good. The centipede on my head, not so much.

I was surprised that this guy was as docile as he was. Maybe he was freaked out that his terrain had suddenly launched itself vertical?
From: missmelysse Date: April 20th, 2005 07:12 am (UTC) (Link)
In my junior year of high school, our orchestra was invited to play a couple concerts in Mexico, and we stayed at a hotel that had a couple of hammocks under a palapa on the beach.

We went to check out the hammocks, saw two very large creepy crawlies, and immediately left. On our way back to the beach, other friends stopped us, asking, "Something wrong with the hammocks?"

"Yeah," I answered. "There's a tarantula and a scorpion having a fight in one of them, and the scorpion's winning."

I don't know what I'd have done if I'd have awakened with your bug, or either of those two creatures in my bed - high pitched screaming would likely have occurred - but I can tell you that when I visit my parents in La Paz, I check every nook and cranny of the closet, the corners of the shower, and behind the toilet, for spiders and scorpions before using any of those things.

Your bug trumps the great hammock war, though.
komos From: komos Date: April 20th, 2005 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think a scorpion/tarantula fight trumps my story for coolness value. That's the sort of thing that you could have a bunch of locals betting on over cervesa good cigars.
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