Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bee Stings By: Karen Pilarski

Summer of 1986 in Milwaukee was a scorcher. The kiddie pool was pulled out of the damp garage leaving dirty streaks as it was dragged from it's home. Pairs of chubby hands kept slipping as it was rolled onto the front yard.

Soft giggles and ponytails hit the back of sun kissed necks.

Colorful fishes with smiles adorned the wall of the two inch deep oasis.

Dad, Mom and her friend Cheryl lounged on the plaid weaved mesh lawn chairs. Sweaty legs stuck to the material leaving imprints pressed on skin. In their hands a icy dark colored beverage in frosted A&W glasses.

*Miranda, my oldest sister was teasing me. My brothers chased us around the pool with the hose. Shrieking and giggling and cold splashes of water made the intolerable weather tolerable.

"Stop bothering the little ones!" yelled my intoxicated father.

Pieces of grass and dirt tickled under our pruned feet. I was no more than an inch away from stepping into the pool when I felt it.

A sharp needled object jabbed into my bare foot. "OWWWW!!" I hopped up and down on one leg bellowing in pain.

It is funny to think of it now but right away my parents put blame on one of other kids. "Who did it?" My dad yelled firmly. My brothers and sisters stood frozen as if they were to blame.

A small whimper came out of me "It was the stupid bee, I stepped on it." Then proceeded to sob as I clutched my swollen foot.

Out of nowhere Cheryl swooped in and picked me up. She put me on the ledge by the porch. "Put mud on the bee sting, when the mud dries the stinger will pull out." Even though I was small, I wasn't stupid. "No mom, (hyperventilating) hu..rr.tttt!"

 It was no use for old wives and their tales. Cheryl found a wet mound of mud and slathered it on the inflicted area. Sniffling and hair dripping wet, I slouched down on the ledge with my muddy foot danging. Miranda smirked as if to say "ha ha."

To add insult to injury as I watched my brothers and sisters continue with their afternoon of water fun. Until it happened again.

Miranda let out a scream and with a big thud landed on the ground in a hysterical fit. Apparently my bee brought a date to our pool party. The date stung my sister on her foot. 

Over Miranda's high pitched seal calls I heard Cheryl voice. In true superhero mode she said "I'll get more mud."

We sat with dried mud on us and scowls at the happy colorful fish on the walls of the kiddie pool.

Shifting over a bit I noticed a wet mark from where my bottom was on the ledge. "My butt made a spot." Soft giggles erupted as we kept inching along the ledge making little wet butt prints along it.

The next time I was stung  I was nineteen. My older boyfriend stood on my porch and declared that we had nothing in common and broke up with me. Which was code for he was over twenty one and could get into bars and hook up with slutty chicks.

Already in pain, I felt a familiar stinging sensation on my foot."Son of.. a bee stung me!" The unfazed ex lover said "oh, maybe you should go and take care of that."


By then I knew that bees die after they sting so I felt a bit vindicated. From the bee anyway.

Instead of mud I lathered wet baking soda on the it and was fine after a hour.

 I only wished I could say more for my heart. The sting of rejection lingered a bit longer than the bee sting.

The last time a bee stung me was over the past summer. There was trouble brewing with a family member. My husband and I took his mom and sister to take care of some personal business.

That day I wore a sleeveless loose green and black stripped shirt. It was sheer so I had to wear a black camisole underneath. I jumped back into the van and the car moved along the bumpy road.

Then I felt it. The same sensation I recalled from a decade ago. "Uh I think I was just stung by a bee." I could feel my back swelling and the pain increasing. The breeze sending airy waves through my shirt didn't assist me in any capacity.

My sister-in-law looked at my back and confidently said "yup, you were stung, but there is no stinger." My husband looked down my back and made me take off the sheer green top.

There entangled in some loose threads was the bee, still alive. The stinger was stuck in the shirt.

"Ugh, kill that thing!" I screamed.

My husband who was more impressive than the former flame, jumped to action. He shook the shirt until the bee fell out and landed on the concrete. With an impressive swift motion he slammed his foot down on it.

Crunch! Damn right, that is for all the bees that stung me!