The neighbor was covered in bees. I knew which neighbor it was because he always wore dirty house slippers and jogging pants and I saw a sliver of the stained slippers beneath the squirming bees. He dragged a bag of trash, which the bees ignored. It was otherwise a beautiful day. My wife and I sat on the stoop drinking coffee. Why is he covered in bees? My wife asked.


The next day we saw two more neighbors covered in bees. They were in the parking lot arguing about something. We lived in a condo complex, and the board members were always fighting about something. What trees to cut down. Whether we needed speedbumps in the parking lot. Why the trash area never got cleaned.


After a couple of weeks, all of the neighbors were covered in bees. They drove by and waved with their bee swarmed hands. The mailman began to wear mosquito netting when he dropped our mail in the boxes. The lawn care company stopped coming and the grass grew to our knees. UPS and Amazon refused to deliver to our house altogether.


Because of the bees, we began to feel more isolated. We never spoke with our neighbors anymore, and we rarely left the house for fear the bees would swarm us as well. After time, the bees swarmed the exteriors of all the condos, and the sidewalks and parking lot were covered with a thin film of honey. It was too sticky to go outside, so we stayed in the house with the doors closed and the windows shut. Sometimes the buzzing beyond the walls was so loud we couldn’t hear the TV. Occasionally, a bee would somehow get inside and my wife would chase it with a swatter, knowing full well she wouldn’t catch it.