I’m a pretty agreeable person and get along with most, but if I had to choose a nemesis (which I believe should be a requirement at age 18, and I’ve expressed this to my local government officials), it would be the mosquito.
I’ve had a long, hateful relationship with mosquitoes. As a kid, I can remember hating the onset of summer, knowing it would mean legs covered in bites, tubes of calamine lotion, and public pools (yick! but that is neither here nor there). On one occasion, I counted 40 bites. I was about 12 years old and lanky, so there was a lot of surface area for the bugs. They probably high-fived one another as they saw me, before feasting on my flesh.
After hearing me complain as a girl, my aunt once said something to me like, “they’re just eating you up ’cause you’re so sweet!” Then I showed her the mounds of bites across my body and watched her gag at the sight.
Well, last night, my old friends paid me a visit. I was in that lovely place just before a dream begins when I got a ‘zzzzzz’ in my ear. I snapped awake, shaking my head and swatting at my ear. I turned on the light and looked around the room. Finally, I found him posted on the ceiling, all smug like a character on Boardwalk Empire. I grabbed a tissue and stood on my bed, trying for the mosquito a few times. I’m sure this did not please Barbara, the bitter old biddy who lives below me. I followed the ‘squito as he flew from the ceiling to the wall. With one angry slap, his tiny body smushed onto the wall.
“Got you,” I said under my breath, like a creep. I smiled, wiped up his remains, and threw him in the trash. I got back into my bed, ready for a victorious night of sleep.
I was probably asleep for about 4 hours, when I got another buzz in my ear. “Stop it!” I shout-whispered, as I sprung to life. I turned on the light once again, but this guy was nowhere to be found. I walked around my room, tissue in hand, searching for him for about 30 minutes. If anyone had come in, they would certainly have thought I was a crackhead. I was hunched over, far too alert for 4am, and mumbling things like “where are you?” and “come on back, friend.” I would find him as he flew across the light yellow backdrop of my bedroom wall, then lose him as he flew past dark jackets and towels hanging from hooks. These moments were the worst, the most hopeless. I thought I might never sleep again.
Finally, I cornered and pinned him. This time there was blood.
I got back into my bed, knowing that I had just secured my space in dreamland.
30 seconds later, there was a buzz in my ear.
“Please stop it, sir,” I pleaded, barely swatting. I was exasperated. It was after 4:30, and just knowing that this a-hole was flying around my face would keep me up, not to mention the bites that I’d suffered over these hours. My arms, leg, and even butt boasted a mark from one, some, or all of these disgusting jerkflies.
I turned on the lights and rubbed on some cream, hoping I didn’t have West Nile virus. I would have surrendered, if I could, but I just can’t sleep with little creatures buzzing around my head. It’s just too scary. The mosquitoes had to die. All of them.
As it was late, and I was weak with delirium and West Nile virus, I tried a different method. I had no time to chase this guy around. I needed aid. I went into the kitchen and grabbed some all-purpose cleaner. Nothing on the bottle mentioned anything about killing bugs, but I just had a feeling this was the key.
I walked back in, scanning the room. When I finally found the mosquito, about 10 minutes later, I calmly walked over. He flew a little to the side. He was jumpy, anxious, and he knew he was too fast for my sleepy human arms. I extended my arm, as he flew back to the spot he’d been, then over a little more. I pulled the trigger. Schwooomp! He splayed across the wall. The force and speed of the spray were enough to kill him. I had won.
I wiped the wall with the disgust of a cop cuffing a black teen caught speeding (or doing anything). I pulled the sheet over my head, as the sun began to peek through my shades. 5:15, my phone read.
The next night, I sprayed a bit of bug spray onto my arms before getting into bed. I was not bothered and slept very well (probably because you’re not supposed to spray that stuff inside, and I just passed out). As summer approaches, I can’t help but feel that I am absolutely screwed. I will have to leave my window closed from here on out, and any outdoor suggestions by friends will be met with resentment. But as long as I have my all-purpose spray, I’ll be able to show those suckers who’s boss.