Jean's house has termites.
They are, as it happens, very polite termites. They stay scrupulously away from load-bearing beams, so that he never has to worry about his roof collapsing onto his head. He does have to replace the non-load-bearing walls occasionally -- and the porch railing, and the interior doors, and the kitchen table -- but they stay away from the bookshelves, so overall he counts it as a win.
The bedbugs are polite enough not to bite. Jean is pretty sure this should not be physiologically possible, but he's learned better than to ask too many questions. The mosquitoes do bite, but they don't bite him, and they're careful about only biting one animal so they don't spread disease.
He didn't have silverfish until he designated a bookshelf to devote entirely to a collection of really, truly terrible books. It features Fifty Shades of Gray and To Train Up A Child and Dianetics and tie-in novels for various franchises. Now he does have silverfish, but only in the one bookshelf, so that's okay.
His favorites are the bees. (The spiders are his sister's favorite, but she doesn't mind that he likes the bees best. Bees are good too.) He has hives and hives of them, and none of them ever sting him, which is good, because if they did they would die and that would be awful. They make more honey than they need, so every so often he gets to go open up one of the hives (he warns them first, politely, so none get squashed by accident) and fish out jars and jars full of honey. He has a pantry full of it, all different colors, shades of gold and brown and pale and even auburn. Sometimes he shares it with the bugs.
The bees need flowers, of course, but he has forty acres all to himself, and when the grasshoppers know to stay away and the worms know to come and thrive, that can grow a lot of plants. He gets monarch butterflies every fall when they migrate, and he stands outside counting them and crying. He doesn't love them quite as much as he loves the bees, but he still loves them, and there's fewer every year.
They miss him, when he's gone, traveling to act or to attend conferences or to do other things, and he misses them. There's bugs everywhere, but his house has so many, and such good ones. His sister sends him all sorts of strange and foreign creatures: dung beetles with carapaces that shine like jewels, long-legged spiders that weave him clothes of strange fabric, African termites that build clay statues at his command.
They're letting him be, right now, so he can focus on his work, but he can still see them moving out of the corner of his eye, and it makes him smile: small winged things darting irregular paths through the air, or heavier bugs scuttling across the floor, going about their business. He never has to be alone.
Jean clicks out of the ninth article on bee depopulation and squints at the screen, tired-eyed. increasing bee population, he googles.
Ten minutes later, after working through a fruitless page of results: getting bees to breed more
After another ten minutes: bee mating
what do bees think is sexy
how to seduce a bee
Jean's house has termites.
[21:48] z: implying i’m not nude and recording it
[21:48] z: aww beat me to it
[21:49] secondsting: You seem like someone who'd enjoy being beaten.
[21:50] foggy: fuuuck
[21:50] palais: 🍅
[21:50] foggy: how dare you
[21:50] lemontired: AGONY
[21:50] gobago: banned
[21:50] deadleaf: nooooo
[21:50] pikograf: WHY IS THIS WHAT BOTHERS YOU
[21:50] telo: shaaaame
[21:51] z: <333
[21:51] secondsting: @telo nice username!!
[21:51] telo: thanks it's random syllables
[21:51] lemontired: z can i take back my refer
[21:51] z: no but like i'll give you another one
[21:51] lemontired: that is not justice
[21:51] secondsting: I'm still not sure I fully grasp the referral system.
[21:52] deadleaf: um so you clicked a link to make your account right? that was a referral
[21:52] deadleaf: you need an account to get into the livestreams and stuff
[21:52] deadleaf: and every link only works once
[21:52] deadleaf: you get new ones sometimes but you can give them to other people
[21:53] gobago: people use it like reddit gold kinda
[21:53] secondsting: I see.
[21:53] secondsting: What happens if someone can't get a referral?
[21:53] telo: exile
[21:53] deadleaf: i don't know, everybody who's in chat gets one pretty fast...
[21:53] deadleaf: i think before i came i didn't know there were streams? wow that feels like a long time ago
[21:54] secondsting: But that's terrible!
[21:54] deadleaf: i know :( i try to give them out when i can
[21:55] foggy: you haven't even been in a stream yet
[21:55] secondsting: I can wait.
[21:55] secondsting: But it's terrible to think of waiting forever.
[21:55] z: i've been thinking about doing a public one
[21:56] z: but i like taking requests and stuff
[21:56] z: it's more personal when it's a small crowd, you know?
[21:56] secondsting: Small dark places. Rotting wood. I understand.
[21:56] palais: what
[21:57] z: yeah you get me
[21:57] lemontired: they're both in on it
[21:58] secondsting: In on what?
[21:58] lemontired: your whole deal
[21:58] telo: the truth comes out
[21:59] foggy: did you just call us all termites
[21:59] secondsting: Not at all. I hardly know you.
[22:00] foggy: what
[22:00] telo: what
[22:01] deadleaf: he likes bugs!
[22:01] secondsting: I do!
[22:01] deadleaf: so it's a compliment.
[22:02] telo: weird but valid i guess
* z has changed their nick to z|zzz *
[22:03] secondsting: Deadleaf understands.
[22:03] deadleaf: c: <3
The talk goes on – he's sent a few more compliments about the video.
He does receive a private message, a little while later:
[22:34] *pikograf* are you ok, do you need help
[22:36] *secondsting* I'm quite well, thank you! And you?
[22:36] *secondsting* Help with what?
[22:38] *pikograf* nobody's making you hurt yourself or anything?