I shouldn’t have watched three episodes. One was enough. I should have gone to bed then. Now it’s after one.
Too awake, but need to sleep. Wednesday tomorrow, only midweek. If I sleep late I wake late and I’ll be in a late cycle again.
Brush teeth, wash face. Mouthwash empty, must buy some more. Back to the box-room, all of my things. Switch off my laptop and switch off the plugs. Moisturise. Glass of water. Sleepier now but head clogged with tv. Thick duvet, too warm. October but still too warm. Summer was sweat; Autumn cooler but…
Kick it off, pull it back on. Head out one end, feet out the other. Fridgewhir changes pitch. Two metres from my bed. Sleep, sleep. Into the deep.
Shit! Mosquito! Where, where? Up. Lights. Sore eyes blinking. Freeze! Where? Glasses? Here! There! Black spot on the wall. Above the bed.
Weapon, need a weapon. Book? No, too big. Notebook better. Here, fine. No proper swatter, need to get one. Heart valves all open. Calm. Relax. Just a fly. Son of a bitch. Bloodthirsty.
Nice and easy. Slow, slow, gently does it. Soft soft SMACK! Victory! Black spot now flatter on the wall, stain on the off-white wallpaper. Will have to clean it sometime. Not now.
Bed again, head down, too hot. Shift left. Shift right. Too hot. Too awake. Mind idling; won’t kill. Clock fuzzy on the desk. 02:30. Huh? Where did the last hour go? Switch off body- switch off! Stop thinking! The man I want to be would be able to… control the flow. Calm the muse. Caution the cortisol. Meditate. Mediate. Breathe. Yawn. Go left. Go right. Deeper into the night’s belly.
Ok, getting settled. Not so bad now. Starting to drift…
What? Again? Fuck! Up! Glasses! Quick! Sonofabitch! Can’t see it. Why only when I lie down? Why can’t I see them when I am up and awake. Where did it go… ah, no, wait, yes, there, up high. Notebook again. Mosquit-ho! World’s worst alarm clock. Works great but only when you don’t want it. Raggedy zigzag flightpath. Looks aimless, graceless; but secretly poised. Long thin needlenose sliding easy into skin. Tapping a vessel. Suck suck gurgle gurgle red bellyswell. Go to hell!
Easy again, have to be nice and easy. Too hard and the air just blows them away. Need a proper… SMACK!!
Gotcha! Must have left the window open today. Stupid. All alone here, no one to blame. Box room is dirty; too many things. Smaller house easier to dirty. Always seem to be cleaning. Never clean. Life is maintenance.
Relax. Sleep. Heedless clock rushing towards dawn. Need to start soon. Eating into tomorrow’s reserves. Kids will notice. “Dark circles, dark circles!” And yell when I take off my glasses. Need to relax. Maybe if I remember?
Maybe it’s his first time around
Ok, drift, drift, think of safe places. A corner of a treehut. Smell of wood and leaf. Can see the lake through gaps in the planks. Slight sway. Or in Granny’s house, sunk in the soft old bed with broken springs. Familiar voices from the next room. Atlantic waves in the distance. Wind too maybe, the odd car. Don’t want to move. Safe in a cosy cave. Damn tv show cutting in. Random snippets. Images of myself in heroic roles, super something or other. Hero, winner. The moment of emergence. Turn to face and suddenly far superior. Can’t sustain the glory, unless accelerating into oblivion. The birth of the cool. Sleep damn it sleep! Why does it twist and turn, tormenting, picking, whining?
He doesn’t speak the language, he holds no currency.
Again? Again? No way! Fuckers!! Where do they come from? How can they just appear? Have to find it. Lights glasses up notebook. Ok. There it is. Same damn place. Get it SMACK! missed? shit! where? look! where? no, dirt… climb. Check. No. Down low. Where? Lie on the floor. Smell. Not good. Food? Sink. What attracts them? No sign.
Turn off the light. Lie and wait. Glasses still on. It will come back. Wait. Think. Might as well think while I am waiting. It will come back. It needs blood. Why? How did they evolve thus, vampire parasites. How long do they live? Isn’t it just the females? Damn fridgebuzz is too obnoxious. Can’t hear properly. It will go off eventually. When? Could plug it out. Fridgebuzz flybuzz mentalbuzz. Chatter chatter chatter. Can I plug them out? How did it evolve? Cold blind evolution, pouring down through time the answer that is because it is. Change, test, and repeat. Define and refine and no master’s vision. Pouring down the ages. Searching. For what? No goal. Plumes of complexity flickering in infinity.
He sees angels in the architecture, spinning in infinty
bzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZzzzzzzz
OK vampire fucker, your time has come! Switch turn see SMACK MISS! follow follow follow gone. No contrast. Too much clutter. Too much! Need. Awake again. Not letting them get me this time. Remember waking with sixteen bites? Only a month ago. Never had this at home. Where are you cursed bloodsucking fiend? Search search has to be here. Tiny tiny home. All alone. No comfort in that now. Bathroom? No. Sink, desk, window, pictures, poster, locker, wardrobe. Stand on the bed, sit on the floor- get another angle. Can’t see it. It’s somewhere.
Give up? No. Look it up. Information. Information will help. Must be a way. Know your enemy.
Plug back on. Laptop powering up. Wait for the Internet.
Mosquito. From the Spanish for little fly. The Culicidae. Disease vectors. Yellow fever, Dengue fever, Chickungunya, malaria. Only the females suck. Need it to grow eggs. Like all insects- egg larva pupa adult. Head, thorax, abdomen. Wings beating up to six hundred times a second. 1 or 2 kilometres per hour. Females live longer. Old ones are the vectors. Drink and lay and thirsty again. Five to forty days from egg to bite. Depending on conditions. Three and a half thousand types. Feed on plants too. Nectar. Nectar vector. Attracted to carbon dioxide. Octenol. Sweat. Like some people more than others. Different sweat. Sweetsweat. Mine? Their spit gets into your flesh. Causes swelling. Vampire spit. Insect spit. Thought it was piss. Is that midges? Has a load of spit proteins that screw with your immune system- stop it from reacting in time to clot and clog. Scientists trying to use it as an anti-clotting drug. Might as well. Dragonflies eat them. Some species eat other species. Eggs in any idle water. Buckets and stuff. My house is too dirty. Toilets maybe? Pipes and sinks. Insect eggs in the dregs.
Isn’t helping. At least I can call it she. She’s here somewhere, super-sensitive antenna and random flight and long legs and extended proboscis. All designed simply, symbiosis with the prey. Millions of years. How many millions in the world? Billions. Trillions? They can see me, smell me, find me. Or at least my sleeping head.
Must be. Yup. almost four. Can’t sleep. Give up. Will have a zombie day at work. Pretend I was out all night on the piss. Would have been better off. Data not helping. Might as well… clean.
Dirty kitchen dirty floor dirty sink dirty insect looking to inject my night with infected plight. Should just ignore. Lumps are small, go away fast. But that buzz. I can’t sleep with that buzz in my ear. That high tinny whine that sends my blood racing and my blinking eyes up to glasses and light and damn if I had had a better swatter I would be asleep and I need a net to go over the bed and surely they should be dead it is October after all. Years ago a Mosquito was a model plane. The Stuka was the one that whined. Airfix sticky glue fingers stuck together too little tins of enamel paint. Oh for a newly-minted mind!
Clean clean clean. Food into bag into freezer. Wrappers into plastic bag into bin. Bin full for the morning fine. Plugs and cables into drawer. Socks into washbasket. batteries into drawer. Eyes slowly sleepgathering growing mouldy old sneakers into the cupboard need to dump old scraps from the fridge Christ it’s a tiny home but it can fit an awful lot of dirt. How did it get so out of hand? A man needs a maid. Some mosquitoes eat other mosquitoes.
Finally the tv show drone has drained from my skull. late. Early. No difference now. Wave of weighty tiredness. Another. The tide finally arrives. To hell with the buzzing. I can sleep now. I can forget the million billion mosquitoes, the million billion details of life as maintenance. I can focus on nothing and let the rest of it slide.
Slidefall into bed. Duvet up around. Light outside. House half cleaned. Fice thousand miles from home. More than a mile for every damn species. More than a mile for.. every…
zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzz