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Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010
The Last Mosquito — of this season
By AMY CHAVEZ
Under a full moon, a welcome breeze rolls in off sea and slips through the screened-in window on the second floor. After billowing the curtains, the breeze dances over my bed before rolling out the window on the other side of the room. Autumn is the best time of the year for sleeping.
Meanwhile, a mosquito enters the house through a screened door on the first floor. She straightens her antennae and cleans her wings of debris she picked up squeezing through the screen. She twitches her antennae, alert to detect odors. She is looking for a host.
She is weak. It is autumn and her days are numbered. She has one goal in mind before she dies: make babies!
She flies low to the ground, barely able to resist the gravitational pull to death. She flies close to the wall where she can frequently stop to rest. She is tired but she keeps going: babies!
Her olfactory system senses carbon dioxide on the second floor. She flies clumsily, as if drugged, to the top of the staircase. Peering into the bedroom there stands a monolith in the moonlight. Something shiny and pointy sticking up from a face — a veritable sky scraper! Honing in on this beacon, she circles it, checking it out from all angles. Human breath is expelled from the monolith every few seconds. The prognosis is good: The host appears to be trapped inside bed sheets. It cannot escape easily.
The mosquito flies in big circles around the monolith preparing for landing. She commits to land, but at the last moment, a horrendous snort creates an updraft and she is forced to abandon her plan. Landing on the head board instead, she decides to observe the host for a while before trying again.
Late in the night now, the breeze has died, I wake from my slumber — a mosquito is whining in my ear! I swat the air and roll over onto my side.
I am too lazy to fight it, too sleepy to get up and turn on the light and find the chemical weapons to bring it down. Surely it will go away. Or at the very least it will bite my partner and leave me alone.
Back to my own little sleeping world. But the mosquito comes back.
"Ne, ne!" I hear a whining in my ear. "It is the end of the season and I am alone," the mosquito cries. "Help me, I want to make babies." My eyes open in alarm. Make babies?! The mere thought of insectuality disgusts me.
I am dreaming. I bring the covers over my head to keep the mosquito out of my sleep, out of my dreams. "Ne, ne," she whispers. "You are the only one who can help me. Just lie there and let me do what I need to do. Then I will go away and you will be left with just an inkling of what existed between us the night before."
I loathe leaving the warmth of my bed. It is like a magnet holding me down. "Leave me alone and stop your whining!" I crawl deeper into the covers. "Come on," she pleads, "be a good host. I need your blood to grow my eggs so I can make babies."
This is disgusting! It is obvious that I am going to have to engage in chemical warfare to kill this slutty mosquito! I am lying on my back. My face is exposed. Filled with indignation, I am ready to jump out of bed and kill this sucker! Kiiiilllllllll!
But wait! What has happened? I cannot move. I try my hardest to move my legs but I am paralyzed. I cannot move even a finger. I have been struck with kanashibari, that terrible sensation that can temporarily paralyze you when you are just waking up.
The mosquito has landed on my face and is stroking my cheek with her leg. She bows her head as she positions her proboscis.
My anger turns to anxiety. I am helpless. "Oh dreadful mosquito," I say, "I will give you babies. Be gentle with me. Take your last drink and be gone!"
Her proboscis pierces my skin and moments later I hear a sucking sound as the little Dracula slurps up nourishment from her last victim.
I awoke in the morning to the sounds of the sea, the waves lapping up onto the sides of the port outside my bedroom window.
I had just a vague memory of something having happened the night before but I couldn't remember exactly what. "Did you hear a mosquito last night?" I asked my partner.
"No," he said. "Why?"
I had a weird dream that I was violated by a mosquito and that later, when she got pregnant, I was to blame. And look, I've got this big red mosquito bite on my cheek!
"Like the Scarlet Letter!" he joked. We both laughed. Dreams can be so funny.