things to think about

today i am thinking about: FOOD CHAINS
September 25, 2009, 12:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

There is a mosquito in my room. There have been mosquitos in my room for weeks, biting me in my sleep.

You may think to ask, “Ariel, are you sure it’s really mosquitos? Are you sure it is not THAT WHICH SHALL NOT BE NAMED biting you?” Yes, I am sure, friends, because I stayed up at night with a flashlight stalking. Mosquitos: 2 or 3. THAT WHICH SHALL NOT BE NAMED: 0. It’s mosquitos. It’s tiny, buzzing, bloodsucking, motherfucking MOSQUITOS.

Here are some facts about mosquitos:
1) They are from the family Culicidae.
2) They bite you when you are seeping, the little fuckers.
3) There are about 3500 species of mosquito found throughout the world.
4) All it takes is one to bite you all over and leave welts that will itch you for a week.
5) T cell populations are decidedly susceptible to the suppressive effect of mosquito saliva, showing enhanced mortality and decreased division rates.[20] Parallel work by Wasserman et al. (2004) demonstrated that T- and B-cell proliferation was inhibited in a dose dependent manner with concentrations as low as 1/7th of the saliva in a single mosquito.
6) There is a mosquito in my room and it keeps circling me and then dodging off around my shoulder where I can’t see it and it is too fast to swat and I am pretty sure it is some kind of supermosquito here to make me a host of its crazy alien babies.

(Odd-numbered facts found here:

I am a human. I AM A HUMAN. I am supposed to be good at tools and fighting things. I am many thousand times bigger than this mosquito — it is probably 1 cubic inch and I am many, many cubic inches. My brain is infinitely more complex than this thing and yet I am sitting here chasing it around my room with a world map — the closest thwacky thing.

I know that mosquitos are supposed to have their function and I should thank Hashem the great for making all things, even tiny buzzy things. But here’s the scoop: I am not there right now. I am not counting blessings or feeling really great about the world or having grateful moments. I am angry at things right now, angry in a new way, and that means that I am pretty sure these mosquitos are here to piss me off and spite me, not to pollenate flowers or food or whatever it is those little buzzing pieces of shit are supposed to be doing instead of eating me.

It’s the High Holy Days right now, for those of you not keeping up with the Jews, and this is the time of year where we are supposed to reflect and reconsider ourselves. We are supposed to make right with the people we’ve wronged and we’re supposed to think hard about how we have wronged Hashem, by sinning or by not being our best selves or by killing too many tiny beautiful insect wonders of creation or whatever version you decide works best for you. It is all about introspection and finding the beauty and rededicating yourself to progress and being better.

Only here’s the thing. I’m not having it. These mosquitos are here, and they’re trying to eat me, and I am not even making a dramatic metaphor here. And I am for once coming out swinging. I’m not one for killing bugs — I try to warn the spiders in the bathtub when I am about to take a shower, I don’t even get mad at roaches when they’re not in my house — but sometimes, there’s a mosquito, and it is trying to suck your blood out.

Eat or be eaten, right? Kill or be killed. These are the lessons I am feeling in my bones and they don’t have a lot to do with generosity or tshuvah or learning or being a better person. I feel stuck in these high holy days as I try to figure out how to just let the mosquitos buzz around.

That’s the thing, right, in the end: it’s just a fucking mosquito bite. It’ll itch, and then it’ll fade. I have my whole life — the mosquito has two weeks (a month in captivity, but who the hell has a pet mosquito?!). This metaphor is getting tortured, and I’m tired of forcing it, but I just have to say I am so, so tired of waking up every morning itchy and uncomfortable and for once, I am just going ahead and scratching that itch.

1 Comment so far
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I had fucking mosquitos in my room a few weeks ago. One day I woke up with ELEVEN NEW MOSQUITO BITES. You better believe I not only scratched the bites, I killed the mosquitos. It wasn’t during the high holy days though.

Comment by Julian

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