Friday, August 7, 2015


I woke up this morning, gazed into the bathroom mirror and scared myself.  While it’s not unusual for my reflection, especially before I put on makeup or comb my hair, to make me gasp in horror, it was even worse this morning, mainly because I’d had a grand total of only two hours of sleep.  The circles underneath my eyes were so dark, I looked as if I were about to go play a game of football.

My lack of sleep wasn’t due to the fact I hadn’t been tired when my head hit the pillow the night before. No, I’d actually dozed off within minutes. But after only a brief period of blissful slumber, I suddenly was awakened by the most annoying sound known to the human ear, especially in the dead of night…“Hmmmmm!”

It was a mosquito.

The high-pitched hum sounded as if it were coming from right inside my ear. I frantically swatted at the air around my head. When the humming continued, I whacked my ear so hard, I was afraid I’d have to go get fitted for a hearing aid.

After I’d smacked everything around me and no longer heard any humming, I debated whether or not to try to go back to sleep. I knew that if I hadn’t succeeded in killing the little bloodsucker, I’d be subjected to endless torturous humming for the rest of the night. So I got up and turned on the light. I was hoping to see the mosquito lying belly up on my pillowcase or bedsheet.

But I didn’t find any evidence of a corpse.

So I waited, hoping the winged vampire would make a return appearance while the lights were on so I actually could see what I was about to pulverize.  I continued to wait. I even struck what I hoped was an irresistible mosquito-attracting pose. But there was no sign whatsoever of my intruder.

I figured I must have killed it, even though I couldn’t find any concrete evidence to prove it.  So I crawled back into bed, shut off the light, and quickly fell back to sleep.


I reached for the lamp on my nightstand, switched it on and sat up. By then, I was so irritated, I was out for revenge, out for bug blood.  But there still was no sign of the little pest. So I went on a mosquito hunt. I fluffed the blankets. I got up and shook the curtains.  I did everything short of hanging a “Free! Vintage A-positive blood” sign around my neck. But alas, all of my efforts were in vain.

The rest of the night, the same scenario repeated itself over and over again. The mosquito would wake me up and then pull a disappearing act. It got to the point where I was tempted to spray an entire can of bug killer in my bedroom, just to be certain my sleep wouldn’t be disturbed again. But the thought of turning my room into a toxic-waste site made me reconsider.

So when I got up, bleary eyed and grouchy, this morning, the mosquito still remained at large. I had visions of it dressed in camouflage, poking its head out from behind one of the pictures on my bedroom wall, and laughing sinisterly at me.

Sure, I understand that all creatures were put on this earth for a reason, but I still haven't figured out any logical reason for the creation of mosquitoes...other than to make humans' lives miserable.  And I just happen to be one of the unfortunate people mosquitoes absolutely love.

I certainly didn’t take after my mother.  Mosquitoes weren’t attracted to her at all. She could have stood totally naked in the middle of a swarm of them and they’d have flown right past her. I, on the other hand, could hide in a locked bank vault and they’d still manage to find me and attack. I’m not sure why, however. According to Wikipedia, mosquitoes are most attracted to people who have type O blood, are heavy breathers, have hotter than normal body temperatures, have excessive skin bacteria or are pregnant. I’m pretty sure I don’t fit into any of those categories. And the last time I did any heavy breathing was when I tried to squeeze into one of those spandex body-shapers.

Over the years, I’ve futilely tried to make myself unappealing to mosquitoes. I bought insect repellents, but most of them had so many warning labels on them, they made me afraid to even touch the bottle, never mind slather the stuff all over my body. So I tried a couple all-natural methods, such as taking garlic tablets (I’d heard that mosquitoes hate the smell of it) but I still attracted a swarm of them that obviously thought they'd found a new Italian restaurant. Then I tried an oily citronella spray that even after several baths, still made me smell as if I should be standing in a candle bucket on somebody's patio.

My house has a big farmer’s porch out front. I’d planned to sit out there in a rocking chair on hot summer nights and enjoy the cooling breezes, but to date, I’ve sat out there only once. That’s because the moment I plunk down on one of the chairs, squadrons of mosquitoes start to organize in V-formations overhead, preparing for an attack.

So I don’t know what to expect when I go to bed tonight. I’m hoping the mosquito decided to leave the bedroom and move out to the kitchen, so at least my sleep won’t be disturbed again. But if it’s still lurking in the bedroom and is determined to continue to taunt and harass me, then at least I can take some comfort in knowing that many adult mosquitoes live for only a few days. There are, of course, exceptions.

And with my luck, this one’s probably named Methuselah the Mosquito.

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