When I was nine years old a bee stung me in the ear, right inside the little concavity next to the eardrum. I was at a friend’s house. I remember the ice his mother gave me to put against my ear and after a while I couldn’t tell between the pain from the sting and the pain from the cold. My friend and his little sister all crowded around my ear, and he said I better make sure to get the stinger out, and his sister said she’d heard that a bee dies after it stings you, if that makes you feel any better. “Make sure you remove the stinger,” he said. The bee was dead, his sister assured me. I might have been stung but the bee was dead.
Originally published May 25, 2015 in Knee-Jerk Magazine.