Hefting his lavender, polyester pants one side at a time, the bug man then lifts his spray canister with his right hand, and pulls his purple baseball cap, with smashed bug logo, down tight to his brow with his left. “I do love a good Spanish melody,” the bug man says, crossing into the other room.

“Mm-hmm,” says Travis, still rubbing his eyes. He sits on the old couch and closes his eyes, listening to the sounds of the bug man’s voice destroying the melody, the warmth of the thin sunbeams caressing him, and the hypnotic movements of the small dust particles in the light making him drift off again.

“Puede salir cuando quiere, Pero nunca yo partir!” the bug man sings.

Half asleep, Travis feels a moist wind of some kind, as though someone were breathing on him. Opening his eyes, only the face of the bug man is revealed to him, as large as a planet. An ugly planet. For a moment, Travis can make out all the particular details of the face: the huge magnified, wandering eye; the bristly mustache; the myriad of small beads of sweat on the forehead; the pale blubbery cheeks. But then, as quickly as the face appeared, it disappears in a dizzying vortex as the bug man pulls away, and takes one step directly back from Travis.

“I was sure you was dead,” the bug man says, pushing his glasses up to the bridge of his large nose. “I jes’ wanted to make sure you wasn’t dead.” Stepping meekly to the side, the bug man playfully pats Travis on the shoulder, light and uncertain, like a screamewling fuzzfart. “Kay pasa, me ameego?”

“Yeah.” Travis says, waving him off with one hand, rubbing his eye with the other. Yawning, Travis looks around the room, making smacking noises with his mouth. The place looks like a train wreck and the mariachi band takes on a desperate tone. Travis imagines himself wounded, having to take refuge in the desert as a posse searches for him. Coming to, Travis finds the bug man still standing where he was. Like a greasy, grilled cheese sandwich stood up on one end, he slumps. Travis just ponders the little man for a moment, feeling uncertain.

“It’s about that time,” the bug man says, sounding almost menacing, but for adjusting his pants around his middle again, one side at a time.