So, here in Texas, it is about that time of the year where crickets start appearing all over the place. I mean, all over the place. They appear in windows, streets, your house, your place of work. Everywhere.
The song of the cricket is beautiful. It’s relaxing. Whenever you have the chance to sit out on a porch and listen to the distant chirping of a cricket, there’s just something soothing about it. But whenever Jiminy is singing you the song of his people right in your ear, their sweet song turns into an ear-splitting wail.
A few years ago, while I was attending college, a cricket made its way into my dorm room and seemed to hold performances for his friends every time I tried to sleep (which in college, was like… every three hours).
I’m a light sleeper and this cricket soon became my sworn enemy, but I could not find it. It was coming from near my window, but it wasn’t on the sill and it wasn’t crouched up under one of the blinds. I came to the conclusion that this cricket had decided to make his residence inside the white rail across the top of my blinds. There was no way to get to him.
For about a week, we lived together, the cricket and I. He robbing me of my sleep and me getting progressively grumpy. I would rattle my blinds and punch the railing, and he would stop for a short while, only to resume chirping later. It was not a healthy relationship.
I had finally had enough of this and emptied a can of Febreeze into the hole of the railing. The chirping stopped and my room smelled like clean linen for days.
Fast forward to last night, 2015. It would seem that the death of that particular cricket on that particular night so long ago did not go unnoticed in the cricket world. Last night, Jiminy’s cousin, Jymyni, found where I now live and about 5:24 this morning, he began singing the lullaby of the night right in my ear.
Well, maybe, not right in my ear, but that is what I thought at first.
I followed the source of the noise and found it coming from our window unit. Now, we live on the second floor of an apartment building. So, how Jymyni got up there is a mystery to me. He must have had help, and I have my suspicions, and all the usual suspects are currently under inspection.
For the past year, our window unit had also played host to a cheery family of birds that was always eager to wake my wife and I up at the first sight of daylight and also let us know when it was feeding time. After much pounding on the window unit from the inside and going outside to throw rocks at my window while my neighbors stared at the insane man they shared a front yard with, I encouraged the birds to move.
Now, I wish the birds were still here, because crickets are surprisingly stubborn. I pounded on the AC unit and then returned to bed once he had quieted down. A few minutes passed and the sweet comfort of sleep began to wash back over me.
Then, Jymyni resumed his song.
He kept singing his song for about an hour and we performed this wonderful dance comprised of me pulling myself from bed to pound on the window and then returning to bed for a few minutes before Jymyni called me back over to him.
At about 6:20 and after many rounds of our dance, my wife rolls over and says…
And as you married men know, I had to do it.
I grabbed the unit in both hands and shook it as hard as I could. I felt as if I was going to pull the unit from the wall. In fact, that was my intention. I wanted to pull it from the wall and squash the bug with my own fist and watch him die.
I shook and shook, and pounded and pounded the unit with my fist. (I apologize to my neighbors if I woke them up.) And then….
Jymyni was gone. The chirping had ended. Peace had returned to my modest, 400-square foot kingdom. I crawled back into bed and enjoyed my remaining hour and a half of sleep.
Whether Jymyni will return to continue his dark plot tonight or he has decided to honor the memory of his fallen cousin some other way, we will have to see.
I write all this to say to you: do us all a favor and step on those crickets.
Have a good day, everyone!