Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mosquitoes and the Political Process

What do mosquitoes eat? And why are they such bastards? I begin with these two questions.

Of course it’s wrong to say mosquitoes eat blood. They take blood to nourish their eggs or incubate their eggs or some damn thing. They don’t eat blood. They eat dust mites, or just dust.

Are mosquitoes maybe vegetarian? Now that would be ironic.

What do mosquitoes fucking eat anyway?

The truth is I haven’t learned a thing about mosquitoes since high school biology class. And I’m too annoyed at the little fucks at present to go searching on the Internet about them.

In fact every night as I’m drifting off to sleep there’s always precisely one mosquito in the room to harass me. Yes, there are dozens on the balcony where we wash clothes, seven or eight in the hallway by the elevator, but there’s always only one that comes when I’m falling asleep.

My question is: How do they decide which one? Are they maybe democratic, the bastards?

Democratic vegetarian bastards who nonetheless suck your blood. It’s doesn’t sound exactly counterintuitive when you put it all together like that.

I’m very attuned to the one that comes. I am. I can hear the faint whining of wings from a distance in the darkness. I know when he’s arrived in the room long before he gets near me. And if he flies over my face, be it even three feet away, I feel the ever so faint rush of air on my cheeks.

It’s kind of pleasant really.

Still, if I get up and switch the light on to find and kill him he’ll drop instantly out of sight. In my experience only mosquitoes in Taiwan know to do this. Have they maybe evolved in symbiosis with humans as their main blood source? I believe so. American or Russian mosquitoes are fucking dumb compared to mosquitoes here.

If I could tell the mosquito, the one that comes, to just bite my hand and get it over with I would. But how can I tell him--what language do mosquitoes speak? I’m guessing it’s a dialect of Mayan. I’m also guessing even if I told him he wouldn’t just bite my hand and get it over with, but would keep fucking buzzing round my wife and I and causing her to flail her arms in the dark and groan and make things worse in general. He wouldn’t listen to my offer no matter how fluent my Mayan was because he enjoys being the fucking annoying little bastard they elected him to be.

I’m nearsighted now, but can remember looking at mosquitoes close up back when I was younger and could see. I remember their upper bodies were covered with soft brown fur, which kind of made them look like tiny bloodsucking deer.

At least in Wisconsin, where I grew up, the mosquitoes had fur.

My question is: How short would people have to be for it to be cost-effective to make mosquito fur coats? I’m guessing if people were two or three centimeters tall that might be about right. And we’d have to shoot the mosquitoes out of the sky; we’d hunt them.

But if we were only three centimeters tall, we’d probably be too worried about ants to think much about luxuries like fur coats.

It’s 1:40 a.m. now. I’ve gotten up and left the mosquito in the other room with my wife and am here at my computer with yet another fucking mosquito in the study. Perhaps this one was voted in as vice president.

Sorry but I just killed the vice president. Callous I know. And how can I do it anyway--kill a few of the poor bastards every day without even bothering to learn their language first? Think about it. There’s something unjust there.

Yes, I know very well that calling them bastards isn’t quite right either--not because they deserve better, but because the mosquitoes that bite are the female of the species, the males just hang out in swamps and read the papers. And since the pejorative term bastard is usually applied only to males, it was kind of incorrect to keep calling them bastards here.

But I wanted this to be a feminist piece.

Eric Mader

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