My eyes had creaked open an uncountable number of times, each time only to find ants creeping all around me, and that it was still the middle of the night. But this time was different. My eyelids lifted slowly like the lid to an ancient rusty trunk. A hazy light slithered in between my eye lashes. Morning. Ahhh. Finally. I tried to move but I could only budge, like trying to ride a bike that has a tangled chain that is stuck in the gears. Skqullk. My leg moved an inch across the tile floor. And it was gone. All of my energy, spent on sliding my leg one inch to the left.

I very seriously considered wetting the bed, or rather the tile hallway that was supposed to be my bed, because the thought of moving my entire body in such a way that would get me to the bathroom downstairs, well, that thought was unrealistic. I stored that thought away in the “impossible” section of my brain and let it mingle with other thoughts such as a world where money didn’t exist; owning my own unicorn and naming it Xantha; and warm snow.

My body was covered with dry sweat, grime, and a fitted sheet that fit only on a mattress that was but a wish to me. Ache.

I guess that is what happens to your body when it is twisted through undefined dance moves and retired to a tile floor.

Last night was a whirl of cultures that went brilliantly out of control to a beat of who knows what kind of music. From traditional Cambodian music to non-traditional noise with English lyrics to American hip-hop with Khmer lyrics to Korean pop music. No matter what played, we danced. We twisted, we shouted, we clapped; sweat flinging off of ever one. We mimicked each others moves and created a jammtastic moment that was still thumping in my head.

I let my eye lids fall back into a closed position and waited for another hour to pass, hoping that I would fall back to sleep before I realized how uncomfortable I really was.

Jacoba Bulthuis


3 comments so far

  1. Ann DeRooy on

    I started out reading this worried about the fever and illness that was so obviously consuming you and wondering if ant bites caused it and ended up laughing at the visual of undefined dance movements and jammtastic moments causing such stiff and sore muscles that you were almost willing to wet the bed.
    You write very descriptively!

  2. jim'n'arda on

    This was a very fun entry! I shivered a bit, thinking about ants crawling on you when you woke up (if you ever even slept!). I’ve had spiders and flies, but ants? Yech. I want to know one thing: does Elia still love bugs? Give her a hug for me! Arda (Elia’s mom)

  3. Aaron Drenth on

    awesome writing j-cobe!

    can’t wait to hear more stories when you return


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