Dear mango fly larva currently taking up residence in my left buttock,

It’s time to come out of there now. I’m serious. I’ve had enough. A woman’s got a limit, a limit to how much she can take and a right to the sovereignty of her own butt—both cheeks. But you don’t care about any of that, do you? You just perch smugly in the little home you’ve carved out down there, squirming and writhing, knowing full well that my longstanding fear of going under the knife basically guarantees you rent control until you’ve pupated.

Or so you thought. Because I’m done.

Why me, anyway? Looking objectively at the situation, it now seems it was mere opportunity, not attraction, that brought us together. That hurts more than anything, even more than when you dig your pincers into the subcutaneous layers of my skin and burrow ever deeper, which by the way I’d appreciate if you’d limit or, if possible, stop doing entirely. I initially thought that maybe it was my perfume, or perhaps my exceptionally tender skin, that made you pick me over any of the other Peace Corps volunteers I live with out in the African bush. Maybe you CHOSE me, I thought. I imagined a languid rainy season spent together, me doing the Sunday crossword, you taking care of the hundreds of children you’d lay in rotten fruit and any food I let sit out for more than a few minutes.

So perhaps you can understand why I felt angry and, you know what, yes, betrayed, when the doctor told me you came into my life because I naïvely left my wet clothes to dry in the shade instead of direct sunlight, fostering the exact sort of environment that allows you in your freshly laid egg to lay in wait until a warm body comes along to incubate you to life. And hell, you could’ve ended up in anyone’s cotton Fruit of the Looms: Ali’s, Katherine’s, John’s, a goat herder’s. It just so happens I was the only one to skip that day’s precautionary health seminar, and you spotted your opportunity.

That’s so like you, to take advantage of a brief lapse of judgment.

And so, mango fly larva, we are through. Done. You’ve overestimated my tolerance for glorified maggots hanging out in my butt, and after tomorrow’s surgery, you won’t dictate my life any longer. No more fearing you’ll decide to pop out and greet the day while I’m flirting in a tiny bikini (which you won’t let me wear anyway). No constantly checking if you’re still in there and feeling oddly, conflictingly comforted that you are. You know, you really have a way of getting under my skin.

Don’t take any of this too personally, though. Honestly, I’d just really like to sit down.

Sincerely,
Juliana Peluso

Peace Corps Senegal