The joys (?) of summer.

Officially, summer arrives on June 21. I think someone forgot to tell summer that.

Already this year, the area I live in has seen multiple days with the temperature over 90, and the actual day summer should start is forecast to be at or around that temperature. Now I know the Earth isn’t a climate-controlled environment where every day dawns the same, the temperature never exceeds a specified range, and it only rains when it’s supposed to (like at night or when I feel like setting inside and watching it). I’m actually glad for that fact, because the very idea of such a world seems very distasteful to me. That said, I really, really do not like hot, humid weather. It’s like you can never get comfortable, and no matter what you do, you always end up sweat-covered and feeling like you’re carrying around a couple of pounds of general crud stuck to your body. Around here, if that weren’t enough to make your life miserable, you’ve also got the mosquitoes. I have never, ever been able to close a house up tight enough to keep those little blood-sucking buggers completely out of it. Admittedly, I don’t have a house with central AC, so some of the rooms are left with windows and doors that are usually open (abet, with screens over them) to the outside. I don’t know if they manage to squeeze through the screen openings, or through small gaps around the doors, or if they just await their chance to steal in whenever you have to go out, but somehow, they always manage to get in. Then, the real fun begins!


It’s the moments when you’re least able to do a lot that they seem to strike. It could be that you’re “occupied” on the toilet, or paying attention to a show on TV, or some other similar instance. Then, out of nowhere, you hear that irritating little buzz that tells you a mosquito is stalking you. If your house has any darker-colored walls, and the mosquito is between you and one, they can almost seem to vanish into the background, unseen until a chance movement draws your attention. Even in rooms where the walls don’t help them to ‘blend in’, they can often be hard to spot, frequently approaching from behind as if they know which way your attention is focused. If you don’t spot it, your only hint that you’re about to give of your blood to further their species is the sudden quiet that tells you they’ve landed. Then it’s the frantic search of your exposed body parts, trying to find the culprit before you’re bitten. Now is the real fun, because a mosquito can sometimes just alight on any convenient surface, like it’s in need of rest, or like it’s watching you to see how fast you can move. If you’re lucky, and you spot it while it’s resting/scouting you, you have a chance to swat it before it can get to you. What you use is more a question of what you have at hand, rather than a planned defense. I usually try to use my hands, even though when I succeed in catching my potential attacker unaware, the resulting debris leave a nasty mess on them. Nothing to reach out and grab, no hesitation, just swing and (hopefully) SMACK!, one dead bug. If you spot it on yourself, the mess is compounded, but if you can get your lick in before it has a chance to get you, the satisfaction factor is not to be ignored.

If, on the other hand, you either don’t spot that the malefactor someplace nearby, or it has managed to land on you someplace you can’t see, it’s time to wait for the bite. Some of them seem to have barbs on their snouts, given the level of pain they can sometimes inflict when biting. Others, you never feel them until you start to itch. I’ve tried all manner of creams, sprays, lotions, you name it, to control that desire to scratch a mosquito bite. Some of them aren’t half bad, but none I’ve ever run into really does a good job of it. That wouldn’t be bad if it only lasted a day, but I’ve had bites that continued to itch for two, three and even more days. After a while, it’s just maddening, trying to fight the desire to just start scratching away.

How I sometimes wish they would just vanish, that they’d suddenly go extinct and be nothing but a bad memory. The reasoning part of me knows that this is never, ever going to happen, but it’s a nice fantasy, isn’t it? Kind of like winning a big Lotto jackpot or something like that, it’s a dream more to be take your mind off what’s going on around you than one you expect to happen. Still, it’s a nice dream, and if I can find that little buzzer who’d been bothering me all morning, I just might let my mind stay there.

If you’ve got mosquitoes where you live, and it’s summer, good luck and good hunting! Winter comes soon!


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