There’s a lot of things to love about summer in Sydney.
First, there’s like, 7 months of it. Second, not only is it SUPER hot, it’s also SUPER humid. Third, there are beaches everywhere, and only 98% of them have sharks. Next, only about half of the houses have a/c, so you have to keep the windows open to get a breeze, which gives you a chance to get to know your fine wing-ed neighbours: cockroaches, flies, and mosquitos. We can’t forget the mosquito.
There are few insects I hate more than mosquitos. Now, I have a healthy fear/respect for most insects – anything venomous (spiders, scorpions), able to withstand nuclear fallout (cockroaches), able to devour or suffocate me with their numbers (ants), or send me into anaphylactic shock (bees, wasps, et al) – I will avoid within an inch of my life. Mosquitos though… these disease spreading harbingers of itchdom – I will hunt down a mosquito and destroy their entire family.
Mosquitos are just garbage bugs. GARBAGE. They multiply like they’re born pregnant, and basically only exist because other animals feed on them and their larve. And the mosquitos in Sydney are Australian, and therefore, mean business. Here, they’re extra sleuth, and even the big ones you don’t notice until they’ve drained all the blood from your leg, or arm, and you’re left dotted with landing zones. They also have that annoying ability to buzz juuuust outside your ear when you’re dead asleep, waking you up with a start as you instinctively slap the side of your face.
Big, Bold, Garbage bugs.
The big issue between me and mosquitos is they love me. I must have goddamn truffle blood to justify how itchy and pock marked I am during the summer. And this year, it’s worse than ever.
It all started in January. I was waiting for the bus when I noticed a big black mosquito resting on my arm. I swatted at it, missed, and it flew away. I thought I got to it in time, but later I saw three welts that overnight grew so big and rashy that the patients at work were commenting on them and I drained an entire tube of anti-itch cream trying to keep myself from tearing my skin apart- they were so bad, I have little scars now where the bites were. And in the last three weeks, I’ve gained at least 43 bites*. 43! And most of them are on my right arm and leg, because I sleep on my left side and always kick the sheets off in the middle of the night. I’m walking around looking like I have a massive outbreak of psoriasis, or like I’ve taken up a solid heroin habit (the latter of which is extra believable because I was sick with some flu/cold/zika virus for three weeks and looked like a zombie).
(Life has been lots of fun lately, btw)
So needless to say, my mosquito rage has been off the charts. And last Friday, I met the boldest garbage but in my life. I was in the shower washing my hair, and I saw one buzzing around near the ceiling. I flicked water at it, and it flew away. A few seconds later, I noticed it trying to land on my arm. In the shower! On my wet, soapy, arm! It was buzzing around, dodging steam and water and trying to be a hero. NOT TODAY, I thought, and I went after it with a giant swat, forgetting that my hand was full of lathery shampoo. The second my hand hit the skin of my arm, shampoo went everywhere, including my eye. And once again, I missed the mosquito.
As I blinded (literally, with soap, and metaphorically, with rage), all I could think was “well, that’s karma. I tried to kill something and ended up hurting myself.” And then I started thinking how shitty it would be to be a mosquito. You live for a month, basically, dodging humans trying to kill you and animals trying to eat you; your reputation is Garbage; and you’re a vampire but you’re not handsome and you don’t sparkle. I think if I were a mosquito, I’d take my anger out on people, too. It’s not like mosquitos were born wanting to be mosquitos. Maybe I should try to stop killing them so much, and just be a better person.
But then, the mother fucker landed on me. And I got em.
The next morning I woke up with 4 new bites.
If you need me, I’ll be dousing myself in OFF!
*no, it’s not bed bugs or fleas. I stripped the bed and investigated every fibre – the only thing I found were two dead mosquitos.