Dirty Winged Creatures

I was diagnosed with chronic asthma yesterday.

Good timing, eh? What with the shifty global pandemic continuing to wreak havoc on the entire world, whether people want to believe it or not, it’s not an excellent time to have asthma.

And, not only that, but I may be on my way to acute bronchitis once again.

Perhaps it’s related or maybe because it’s June and it’s the month my mom died a few days after Father’s Day which is like how my dad died a few days before my mom’s birthday.

Hey life. You’re beautiful and, also, fuck you.

In any case, I was feeling much like a dark puddle last night.

Having asthma now means I’m probably not able to go on this birthday wine bus winery crawl with my favorite family members in July. I have been looking forward to that since the event was created at Christmas.

It’s the only event I’ve looked forward to since the pandemic started.

But oh well. I figure that, if I do manage to die from coronavirus, I can serve as that example some friends and acquaintances want as proof that coronavirus is not a conspiracy:

Do you know-know someone younger than seventy-five who has died from coronavirus?! And I mean, someone you know.

The conspiracy that coronavirus is a leftist conspiracy is insane to me. If the liberals were able to invent and magically orchestrate/invent all of the bodies, the media reporting here and throughout the world, the international scientific community’s unanimous belief backed up by hard data, all the health workers and their stories of suffering and death, the National Guard testing stations, the overcrowded hospitals…

if all that has been a conspiracy invented by the Left, then the Left should be able to get a few more of their bills passed in the Senate.

But, in case I die from coronavirus, I could be the quick answer for friends if they’re asked that question.

“Hillarie! She died from it!”

“Oh but she had asthma. Of course she did.”

Sigh. Interacting with people used to feel easier to me. Maybe it’s because I was a kid and shorter than everyone so I missed out on all the dumb shit people would say because I was staring at grass or something.

In any case, I’m going in for a follow-up visit in a month (in person) but my nurse practitioner prescribed me a brand new inhaler and another medication but all I care about is the PREDNISONE!!!!!!!!!

AKA STEROIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No, it’s not good to get so excited about a drug prescription.

At the same time, it’s the thought that cheered me last night. “Oh oh oh I’m going to take steroids tomorrow morning!!!!!”

Last spring when I wasn’t getting enough oxygen for an extended period of time and then I wasn’t getting any… I was prescribed antibiotics and prednisone.


I mean, I’m sure it was the whole “oxygen to the brain” phenomenon but if all my former drug addict friends gathered around (in some fictional future when I am again able to leave the house and interact with a group of people who are now… I honestly don’t know where/how they are… ) and talked about which drug was their favorite drug

mine would be steroids.

Hands down.

Also, I’ve clearly never done drugs except for pot and of course I never inhaled. Pot makes me even more analytical and skeptical so I’m that person who always turns down pot when I’m standing outside in the freezing cold of winter with a group of people who all suddenly smoke and I don’t smoke and… I don’t smoke pot.

I’m that person.

The healthy one.

I don’t say the “not fun one” anymore because as a middle-aged human I am no longer susceptible to peer pressure. So, therefore, I mutter “I’m the healthy one” under my breath as I decide to not join everyone to not-smoke and stand outside in sub-zero weather and instead sit alone at the now-empty bar with my good friend, double whiskey.

I don’t drink whiskey or much these days because parts of my body keep sending me notice-to-vacate letters about how they’re going to leave/shut down/no longer exist if I don’t live essentially like a Mennonite with a more colorful and unethical wardrobe and far less community.

But back to pills and powder drugs.

I needed an escape when things with my family became really bad when I was a teenager but I did anorexia instead. A drug addiction requires more social interaction and that caveat therefore didn’t make it the escape I was craving.

I did always mean to take up smoking as then I could go outside with everyone and not be left at the bar and, when alone, I could look cool because I grew up when cigarette ads were insanely cool/ridiculous and I love old movies and the stars all glamorously smoked.

At the same time, smoking would give my hands something to do but then I got a cell phone and I could occupy my hands with that until, in the last couple years, I started to really despise cell phones and now I’m back to staring at the wall when all my friends leave me to smoke outside.

One time, I was really focused on smoking. I was going to do it. I was hanging out with my friend who had earned a night pass from the rehab facility he had been sentenced to nearby and we were sitting at a quiet bar and he just shook his head as I told him I was going to start smoking that night.

He of course smoked. He took a cigarette out of the box in his pocket and handed it to me along with his lighter.

And then I happily took a puff, holding the cigarette as if I’d been born with it as an extension of my hand.

And my friend snarkily laughed and said, “No. You’re not doing it right.

And he coached me on really inhaling.

And I fucking fell off my bar stool.

Seriously. This demonstrates why “Prednisone” is my favorite “hard drug.”

And then, stubborn beyond measure, I picked myself up off the floor and climbed back onto my bar stool, took another drag and fell right off my bar stool again.

My friend looked down at me, sitting on the floor and said, “Promise me you’ll never smoke.”

My friend who had been at that time residing at the nearby rehab facility for his ongoing heroin addiction made me never again want to smoke.


Besides, I hate stuff in my lungs.

It’s like I’ve already died from tuberculosis or consumption in a past life and I just refuse to go through it again.

So, no, I would never smoke cigarettes. Or, sigh, even cigars.

And now I have fucking asthma so I really can’t fake smoke cigarettes or cigars.

I’m also forty years old and a hermit so I don’t even know what life I’m mistaking for my own but it’s not the one I’m currently living.

My friends are made of cloth and stuffing and some have glass eyes and they don’t smoke or do anything fun.

In any case, before I was prescribed Prednisone for my acute bronchitis last spring, I had only thought of steroids as something aggro weightlifters and athletes feeling too much pressure did.

But, since grade school steroids made me feel the rush of life flowing through my blood, I now mix my old understanding of steroids with my new understanding of steroids and feel, if I had endless access to steroids, I would end up pretty big and hairy.

In any case, I hope the Prednisone helps prevent the scene from Hereditary this late spring and it also helps with the blooming gloom I’m experiencing.

Well, this was the end of this post. But then I reread it and it was markedly short and extremely non-cheery.

It was a bad day, what can I say. It rendered me concise and grey.


Well, I woke up yesterday morning and found myself yelling out the window at the street cleaner at seven in the morning because it looked like he was purposefully trying to miss the street trash.

I mean, what the fuck.

When you find yourself yelling at city workers before eight in the morning, you just know it’s going to be a troubling day ahead.

This is an example of one of those patterns in life you can count on.

Also, yesterday I spent an hour trying to get a gigantic fly out of our apartment. I mean, the thing was freaking out. At first, I thought it was some kind of flying beetle and was very “oh hell no,” but then I saw that it was a regular old steroided-out fly.

Okay. So it wasn’t a GIANT fly but, relatively speaking, it was bigger than your average house fly.

While it spent most of its time flying into the various window screens situated around the apartment, for a short time it just kind of stayed close to my feet.

I thought it was dead as I could get really close and it just kind of sat there. Moved around a bit. But didn’t make any effort to get away.

This went on for about five minutes as I waited for my husband David to get a cup so I could catch the poor fat fly and release it.

As a kid, and shortly before I was told flies carried every kind of disease and would eat your eyes if they could or some other propaganda, I loved flies. I liked how they would wipe their hands together like Mr. Burns when he was about to do something extraordinarily evil

or I remember how, when I was little, I felt so happy to watch a fly wipe its hands (legs) together as it was trapped in the backseat of the car with me.

I felt the fly was gearing itself up for something big.

Therefore, despite never permitting myself to touch a fly because I was told it was a carrier of the dead, I still root for individual flies and will help them out if they’re trapped, if I’m able.

So today I spent a good hour getting the relatively giant fly out of our apartment. Eventually, it just flew down our entry stairs and out the front door below.

And it was free.

Beyond how I knew I’d be starting steroids tomorrow, this made me happy.

If I ever feel blue, I tell myself, “Just imagine. There’s a fly out there somewhere with Hollywood Dreams.”

And, for some inexplicable reason, this cheers me.

But not more than the anticipation of breathing.

I suppose it can be summed up as, “Tomorrow will feel better.”


8 thoughts on “Dirty Winged Creatures

  1. Hillarie. I have something to tell you. (You might want to sit down for this.)

    When, a couple times every year, for no reason that I have yet been able to determine, my house fills up with forty or so gigantic furry flies–I go on A KILLING RAMPAGE. I prowl my kitchen armed with a fly swatter and bottle of Windex (of which I am allergic, so, you know that I am deadly serious about this), because if you can get some Windex on a fly, it temporarily slows it way down SO YOU CAN SMASH IT INTO BIO-MUSH more effectively. I say, “Mua ha ha.” I keep a written tally of the body count. I leave the floor littered with the corpses of my vanquished enemies as a caution to the rest (the message, “Leave or suffer the consequences,”) until my husband expresses his displeasure and vacuums them up. I am a serious serial slaughterer of nasty, horrible, disgusting, dirty, terrible flies. My motto, if I had one, could be, “Do not suffer a fly to live.”

    Can we still be friends?

    I’m sorry you have asthma. Me too, also recently diagnosed. I had no idea. Mine’s some sort of recently identified “cough variant” type. So, you see, we have way too much in common to let my little fly peccadillo come between us. We’ve only just met and I like you so much. Can you forgive me?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Lisa! Haha I love your story. And no worries at all! If I had an infestation of flies in my home I’d also eventually go on a rampage because getting a bunch of flies outside is like herding cats.

      It’s more the “not cleaning up of your corpses” thing that bothers me 😂 but… why do it if you have a live-in person to clean them up for you?

      Sounds like you’ve got it figured out.

      I’m more about poor little single flies who are trapped. Hell, I saw a solitary earthworm half-dried by the sun while walking outside just now (OMG I WAS OUTSIDE) and, if I would have had an immediate leaf or something to cover it with… I would have. I can’t stand to witness suffering, in short. If it’s happening right in front of me, I am compelled to act.

      If a worm, I can quell that compulsion but if it’s anything solitary at home (besides mice and centipedes because familiarly breeds contempt), I’ll try to get it outside.

      Oh! We now have SPIDERS!!! FINALLY!!! And I haven’t seen a centipede in weeks. THANK YOU, SPIDERS. But I think the spiders or vampires are biting me at night due to the two-pronged circular bite marks on my legs but… if the biter is destroying the centipede population… awesome. I don’t care.

      Really, it’s just one thing, I’ll have a compassion.

      If it’s A LOT OF THINGS, I may very well go on a killing spree too. I questioned my character when I found too much joy in squashing the insane number of box elder bugs and then the non-native not-ladybugs… bodies everywhere while I was helping my dad with my mom out in the country.

      But I cleaned them up, as I had no man to do it for me at the time. 😂

      Woosh. And it seems like so many have been chronic asthma now! Could it have something to do with our dismal air quality?????? Haha but I have an infection in my lungs or something (hence, weekly dark hard brown “pieces” which I, like a cat, hack up) soooooo… maintenance week! And then I’ll be A-OK and just regular old asthmatic. 🙂

      As an update, the Prednisone did shit for me this round. Soooooooooo boo. But! It was nice to have it to look forward it. :))))))))) Stay safe!!


      1. I’m sad the prednisone was a let-down. What do you think about scalding hot chicken soup? Even the AMA recognizes its healing powers. Homemade is Eee, Zee. Also delicious. When everything is in my chest, I also crave lots of scalding hot regular old tea with honey to quell the itch and loosen the gunk. My-daughter-the-pharmacist preaches to drink water as if it were medicine–frequently and on a schedule.

        About the “not cleaning up of your corpses” thing–it’s less about laziness and more about visual corroboration that I’m making progress–even as the dirty winged creatures buzz-bomb my face. In formation.

        I have a high level of cool-with-em for spiders, so now we have an untenably large breeding population in the house. (Note: never try to squash oddly lumpy spiders. What look like lumps will actually be two and a half gazillion baby spiders which, when swatted, will scatter in every direction.) The really big ones, we name. While my parents were visiting, I was vacuuming in the kitchen and knocked a large wolf spider out from under the lip of a cabinet. Giving a startled whoop, I quickly vacuumed it’s hairy butt up. It was so big you could hear it thwacking into the sides of the built-in’s hose all the way to the outlet. My mom asked, “What was that?” I said, “Tarantula.” Mom, “Really??” Me, “No.”

        I have no tolerance for ants, roaches, or mice–if found inside, they will be dispatched without compunction. Bees, butterflies, moths, and sometimes crickets will be captured and released (the crickets–it will depend on how long they’ve been annoying me). Crazy beetles (I don’t know what their real name is) are ignored.

        I once had a rather large black rat snake living in the house for a few years. We named him Waldo. As in, “Where’s Waldo?” It became kind of normal to find shed skin here and there upstairs. If I’d found him, I would have evicted, not killed him. (Who am I kidding? I would have screamed bloody murder and made my husband do it.) When Joel was re-roofing he found Waldo in the rafters two or three times, flinging him down into the yard each time. I guess Waldo finally decided we were inhospitable and stayed gone.

        The possum in the soffet (who also made frequent incursions into the attic) was right out. Took awhile to lose him, the nasty, needle-toothed, hissy beastie.

        The statistical uptick in asthma is, they say, because we now live in too clean of an environment. (They obviously have never been in MY environment…) I think that’s true, actually, for people much younger than I. That whole sanitize-everything-in-sight thing started long after my childhood. I do have a sneaking suspicion, though, that for people like me who were born mid-century when doctors convinced mothers that breastfeeding wasn’t scientific, developing asthma later in life may be one more unintended consequence.

        Ack, Hillarie. I always have way too much to say.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha well, I like that you named the rat. That always helps. Just personalize something you don’t like/are afraid of and it’s immediately robbed of its terror. And then you can scream, “WHERE’S WALDO” and terrorize the rat, for a turn. Which apparently you did because he left you.

        Well done.

        The physical contexts are perhaps cleaner which is one thing I like about this murderous pandemic but it’s really just up to the standard it should have been at before. I’m more concerned about the environmental pollution. You go out wearing white clothes in Milwaukee, you come home wearing grey clothes.

        Woosh! You have deal with a lot of uninvited guests in your home! Hats off to you! I am not a fan of invasive creatures! I saw that Fantastic Fungi movie with a friend (we both cried as we had both lost our dads to cancer) and when I saw how fungi took care of invasive ants etc… I was all HOW RICH DO I HAVE TO BE TO KILL INVASIVE RODENTS WITH MUSHROOMS. Rich or have a stronger background in science and biology.

        Haha possums are TERRIFYING. I love them in photos and then, on the few occasions I’ve seen one, been just absolutely fascinated/horrified.

        Haha working on another serious Confederate post so… back to work! Stay safe!


  2. Well, we’ve lived here for 38 years–that gives you plenty of time for an array of unwelcome critters to come and to go.

    You, too, stay safe, please.

    PS. Black rat SNAKE (Waldo).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhhhhh! I misread! Black Rat SNAKE!!! Daaaaaaaaaaaamn! Even cooler/scarier!

      And indeed. You have squatters rights, never forget. And how lovely to have a home for 38 years! HOME. (wistful sigh) And yeah. I remember once I, for some reason, looked inside my slippers at my parents’ house in the country while I was staying there, helping, and… a decaying mouse.

      My God. I believe in mysteries because I have no idea what inspired me to look inside it that night. Oof that house had snakes and all kinds of things, I guess. Country living!!


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