In the green, repugnant lobby of the old building “Tara”, where our lives hold much laughter, a long defunct light fixture is hung.

Ancient Vern Mulch on the 4th floor grew up in the place- said it has been there since he was young.   Created, I supposed as an answer to an elegant chandelier, when the “Tara” block was bright, clean and new. It hangs askew on a frayed brown cord, high out of reach of our cranky landlord.

A cupola in petal shaped glass full of bugs, layer upon layer who have blundered in, and expired over the years.   When Godfrey visited, he would stand below the bug filled chandelier and laugh himself to tears.

Our young friend Hawken, (indeed, he loved to fish) observed, “I reckon I’d find bugs up there from 1928, good to tie as a dry fly for bait”.   As Hawken looked up at the fixture, along came from 102, Miss Pettigrew, she smelled of alcohol and cat, and whispered, “Hippie, I’d no stand under that alone if I were you”.

Recalled Godfrey years before…Once a laden, sticky bug paper fell from the kitchen ceiling and stuck fast as it fell to my boss’s behind.  “I had just informed him that I disliked beets”.   What he said with the flies stuck firmly to his ass, was pompous and most unkind”.

“Bugs, said Godfrey, I swell like a bloater when stung by midges and wasps, quite severely, yet delight in dragon flies hovering about with water near me, the racket of Cicadas on a hot day outside, moths I fear and truly cannot abide.

Twas a summer morning, at a Westland camp ground, heard shrill screams of women, I ran to the sound. “Several towel clad ladies bolted from a shower stall, one chap and a large, hairy winged insect with pincers fled to, an innocent Cave Weta, climbing up the bathhouse wall.

Godfrey put it succinctly, “I have a long, odd relationship with things that creep and crawl”    It is normal on our street to hear people scream and shout- often it is me yelling “Not to be alarmist, dear, something nasty is alive in here”

We put out spiders large and small, we do not put sliverfish or earwigs out at all.   And yes, we laugh as year rolls over year, we come and go neath the grotty chandelier, it hangs here still on greasy brown cord, old Vern Mulch is gone, true we could afford to move , but keep our memories and luggage shop near, long love “Tara” and the bug filled chandelier…


4 thoughts on “LONG, ODD RELATIONSHIP WITH BUGS- By Worzel

  1. I’ve just added another of your lines to the snippets of poetry I carry in my mind: ” Not to be alarmist, dear, something nasty is alive in here” is a treasure. Again, you’ve captured bits of a world inhabited by a man I loved. My first husband’s father, Ned, was an entomologist who taught me to appreciate insects. He would have loved your line “delight in dragon flies hovering about with water near me, the racket of Cicadas on a hot day outside” but would not have understood Godfrey’s fear of moths. Ned chided me for not knowing that a spider is not an insect and then taught me to carefully move them to a safe place because they are beneficial, but told me it was OK to squash cockroaches. As always, I enjoyed learning more about the building and its occupants.

  2. Why, how funny- we have ants in the warehouse right now, and are always putting spiders outside, so bugs “crossed” my mind this week. Godfrey feared moths, as I have had to learn not to panic around owls. How cool of your exes father to teach you about insects, dragon flies taught me to slow down…Cave Wetas are the ultimate crawly. Happy to leave you some silly verse for your fine mind- Thanks Janet.

  3. Once again you sparked my curiosity so I researched Cave Wetas. Their relatives terriffy my granddaughter and her roomates by leaping towards them in the dark when they go to the basement for laundry, in Washington DC. They make me {{{shudder.}}} I think they look like a giant cockroach that can jump and {{cling}}.
    I love that you call your building Tara.

  4. Thanks Mary, for researching the Weta- luckily up here we do not have cockroaches, of any size. The building, “Tara” that I pass daily, have never been inside but oft imagine the lives of the residents, built in 1912, as a hotel and saloon on what then was the edge of town where the city horses grazed. I had a great, long hot shower once in a bathhouse cleared by a big Cave Weta. Cheers for the read.

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