San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Bad Day in Paradise for Resident

IT was raining.It had been rainingfor as long as I couldremember, in reality,probably three days.Wake up in the rain,go to work in therain, come home inthe rain.The continuouslydreary skies werereflected in mymood. I longed for asingle moment of thesun warming the back of my neck.I arrived home that particular day at 6p.m. after twelve hours at the office. I wastired – tired of the constant ringing of thephone at work, tired of Ticos, tired of CostaRica. All of the reasons that I had originallymoved here were far from my mind.My clothes needed washing. My wifehad moved back to the states three monthsbefore with promises of frequent visits. Leftto my own devices, my inherent laziness hadslowly taken over. I never perform anydomestic chores until the consequencesdrive me grudgingly into action.I take out the trash when it stinks, washthe dishes when the sink is too full to use,sweep the floor when I can’t stand the feelof the grit on the soles of my feet.AND I do laundry … yes, you guessedit, when there are no clean clothes left towear. I am forced to carry the clothing andsupplies down the stairs outside to the commonarea and to the odd, inconvenientmachine that patiently awaits.Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful tohave been provided with the use of thisdevice. But when you are already longingfor your nice, soft bed and the blissfulrelease of sleep, the tediousness of theprocess can push you into despair. Take thehose from the wall, fill the washer withwater, run for 15 minutes, drain the soapywater, take the hose from the wall, refill forrinsing, run for another 15 minutes, drain thewater, move half of the clothes into the spinnercompartment and spin for a few minutes,hang clothes on clothes line, move rest ofclothes to spinner and then hang on the line.Then you must wait an average of twodays for them to dry, as IT IS RAINING.Memories of the simple two-step processrequired in the First World flooded my brain.Finally, the task completed, I climbedthe stairs and quickly assembled and hungrilygulped down two cheese and olive sandwiches.Then I walked into the bedroomand flipped on the light, intending to fallquickly into bed.FOR a few moments, I was literallyfrozen in horror. There were perhaps 30small brown worm-like creatures crawlingabout on top of the sheets. Self-pity slammedinto me like waves on a rocky shore.I rarely experience jealousy, but thethought of my wife in a cozy, temperaturecontrolled NON-infested apartment inNevada drove me deeper into despair. Withsmall whiny noises in the back of my throat,I grabbed a heavy paper insert from the middleof a magazine and began franticallyscraping the insects into the floor.It was then that I noticed all of the semitransparentwinds scattered about. It seemsthat the little monsters had landed on the bed,shed their wings, and commenced to look formembers of the opposite sex to breed.Within minutes of the removal, severalmore appeared as if by magic. I found thesource of this plague a few days later. Theywere eating the window frame.AFTER disposing of the new visitorsfrom hell, I scanned for additions for maybefive minutes. The thought crossed my mindthat I could take advice from the “I saw anold lady that swallowed a fly” nursery rhymeand invite in some lizards and frogs as temporaryroommates. But also rememberingthe disastrous results usually achieved whenmankind messes with Mother Nature, Ipushed these ideas from my head.I switched off the light, and after 20 minutesof brushing imaginary creepy crawliesoff my body, fell into a deep sleep.About two hours later, the phone began toring; it’s loud warbling an assault to the coreof my being. I climbed up from the depths ofunconsciousness and staggered to the phone.“Alo,” I mumbled.It was my wife, calling to give me a verybrief update on a family disagreement.Although the call did not last long, it wasenough to propel me back into self-pity.AFTERWARDS, “I have to get up at 4a.m.” ran in a continuous loop in my mindfor perhaps an hour. Finally, I slid off into afitful napping state. Only moments later (orso it seemed) the alarm clock began itsincessant demands.I stumbled into the kitchen to start thecoffee maker on its task of creating the wonderful,life-giving fluid. Then I stepped overto the front door and swung it open to greetthe new day. It was raining.Kevin Huey is a native of Atlanta, Ga.who moved to beautiful Hatillo with his wifeCynthia. He now works as a computer supportcall center agent in Santa Ana. Heplays bass in Rockustico, and guitar withBruce Callow.

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