when the insect kingdom says hello

i arrived in miami on tuesday evening for some facilitation work with my loves at the climate justice alliance.

midday wednesday i noticed something had bitten me on my shoulder.

and my arm.
and my back.
and my fingers.

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survey of the people around me was that it was most likely mosquitoes, but said check for bed bugs. i suspected spiders (i was hospitalized once from spider bites), but the internet said they Never bite this much.

so i checked the bed corners with a flashlight and credit card, already near tears because a million small bugs is worse than one big one.

none of the signs the internet offered up were happening, so i fell into a dubious sleep.

woke up after three hours to go to bathroom and then touched my face. something was wrong. turned on the light and there’s new bites – one on my forehead, the other, worst of all, on my eyelid.

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so disrespectful.

and so clearly in that bed without my consent.

they/it also got my thigh thrice over.

four sleepless hours later i go to work and even my mosquito theorists are like girl there’s demons in your bed! i asked the internet via instagram for a diagnosis and learned that many of my beloveds have suffered horrible attacks from bed bugs, spiders, detergent, no see ums, mosquitos, and even sea lice (micro jellyfish spawn!!). they prescribed lavender, tea tree and peppermint oils, benadryl, cortisone, tiger balm, vaporub, plaintain, ice and more.

i followed all the advice, like an itchy paper bag, in the wind, in that one movie about a future flump supporter with the roses.

still, people gasped when seeing my back and switched languages so i wouldn’t hear the awful truth.

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i went to the front desk of the hotel and pointed at my face – “something bit me all over and i want to change rooms”. dude didn’t flinch, just asked what room so they could fumigate and gave me new keys. something about that made me so mad.

you knew! i know you knew!

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no new bites this morning, but everything was swelling and hot and itchy. three people i love insisted i go see a dr. i finished the meeting and went to the clinic.

the nurse doing my vitals was cool, he looked at my face and was like “wow. the eyelid? ouchers.” he also said, “it’s most likely microscopic insects in the sheets”.

bed bugs. or fleas, which i hadn’t considered til another guest shared that she’d found a flea and seen people with non-service pets.

the doctor came and looked at all 22 bites and was like – “it’s really good you came in. your lymph nodes are rock hard. that’s a lot of toxin to take in.”

she prescribed $340 of medicine which insurance brought down to $50 which i plan to charge to the hotel when i have them steam clean my life tomorrow.

i also got a steroid shot, WHICH WAS MAGIC. it hurt going in and felt like metal moving through my veins, but within 30 minutes my eye swelling was going down and i felt so alive!

i got wowed by miami beach, held two boa constrictors and wrote this blog while on this steroidal high. i definitely can’t do tour de france this year, but it’s miraculously fine with me.

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one friend said to see this all as medicine.
another is making me a protection spell.
another said i’m a gangster.
another said – what a story!

having the story to tell, and so many people loving on me, got me through the ick and ouch.

oooh – ok something i took said it’s used to put people under for surgery and as the weeknd says, i feel it coming.

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