Broken Glass and Barbed Wire

For the last 4 weeks I’ve had a cricket in my bathroom.

Yep, a cricket.

In my bathroom on the 29th floor of a glass and steel high-rise, a chirping indiscriminately, never while I’m standing near, impossible to find goddamn cricket. But not the kind that just chirps away, not a happy to be alive cricket…no, no, no, no…it was a duplicitous little bastard who purposefully shut the hell up whenever I walked into the bathroom.

It’s was driving me insane.

At first I thought it was one of the electronics in the bathroom so I methodically unplugged and removed them one at a time trying to isolate which item was making the noise. Thinking it was a low battery kind of thing. Kind of like a smoke alarm sounds when it’s 9 volt is running out of juice.

The hair clippers…nope.

The electric toothbrush…nope.

The digital scale…nope.

So I put everything back and started just scrubbing the place up super clean. Like the OR at the hospital before surgery clean. I threw away all the magazines (they call it “the library” for a reason) but still the chirp was there. I emptied out the area under the sink and threw away anything that wasn’t needed…even took a brush and scoured the inside before putting the extra soap and shampoos and guest towels back.

Mother of all that is holy the goddamn chirp was still there!!

I resigned myself to having to listen to that occasional, random chirp coming from the bathroom…at least until I move at the end of November. I realized that without being right there with my ear 2 inches away from wherever it was I was never…NEVER…going to catch the little demon. This was to be my lot in life, haunted by a cricket.

Today I was sitting at my computer doing computer stuff and I heard that little wise-ass once again chirp a couple times. I walk slowly toward the bathroom, almost holding my breath, I really had had enough dammit! I get to the doorway and a chirp!! A mother fucking chirp! I stepped into the bathroom now really holding my breath…

…and nothing.

I waited a full 5 minutes and was just turning to go, dejected and thinking of large amounts of alcohol when he chirped! And my ear was turned so I knew where it was coming from, I had narrowed it down to behind the toilet tank. I switched the light on and stuck my head behind, looking for telltale cricket signs…

…and nothing, zilch…nada.

I swear I was on the verge of tears, I was losing it thinking that someone would find me in the fetal position rolled up on the floor of the bathroom, mute and staring, unable to move. Until I had a thought…I had never look inside the toilet tank. I had looked at every square centimeter of the bathroom, under magnification in some cases, but never in the tank itself. I slowly moved the books off the tank cover and gently lifted the cover off. I looked closely at any flat surface where a cricket might hide…

…nothing.

I was seriously contemplating self-harm utilizing broken glass and barbed wire at this point but…as I went to replace the tank cover, I disturbed the water in the tank which caused the float (the thing that shuts the water off) to move slightly up and down.

Chirp. Chirp.

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