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Dear Mosquito

Encountering a tiny terrorist.

Dear Mosquito,

I must commend you on a successful campaign of terror, even if its motivations are unclear. What a feast I would have been! A steak the size of a city, unconscious and completely unaware that its tender extremities were under siege by a tiny, carnivorous dive-bomber. And yet, you sacrificed your own self-interest for the sake of unprovoked spite, and landed right on the paragraph I was reading, just as my eyelids were getting heavy, as if to say, “Sleep well. I’m bunkin’ with you tonight.”

Or was this all an accident? Could you really have known that my night’s sleep would be so easily disrupted by the knowledge of your presence? That our size difference has no bearing on our power dynamic? Did that flying cockroach from a few months ago talk to you?

Intentional or not, your literary landing sealed both of our fates. There would be no meal for you and no sleep for me. Even so, we each tried, again and again, and my brief escapes into dream were inevitably disrupted by any sensation approximating your touch.

  • That otherwise quiet night when the bats took flight under a towering network of Philadelphia overpasses. The leaky aluminum roof of my shack offered little shelter from the showers of guano—hey, get the fuck out of my ear.
  • That middle-aged man in the newsboy cap who spoke only in rhyming couplets, and whose erratic driving made me nervous enough to hop into the moving car in the next lane. The difference between those two cars was literally night and day, and the passengers sharing my new ride were wary enough of me to merge their three bodies into—get off me get off get off get off.
  • That long walk, dodging blasts of unidentified liquid from asthma inhalers wielded by belligerent homeless men, looking for the right spot to cross a six-lane highway to get to the supermarket. As it turned out, my old coworker ran the place, and I thought he’d be happy to see me, but he just wanted to argue about how overrated the ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons is, with a growing chorus of sycophantic employees echoing his—oh my god just let me sleep.
  • That well-lit room, sponge-painted in pastels, housing several benches’ worth of strangers. Young and old, we were patiently sitting and watching soap operas, each waiting for our turn in a Street Fighter II tournament to determine our seat on the log flume—seriously? The other ear now?

There was no alternate reality you were unwilling to intrude upon, dear mosquito, and as much as I wish we’d never met, part of me kind of admires your obnoxious tenacity, your nihilistic commitment to mutually-assured destruction.

I don’t know if you lived to terrorize again or if you were flattened by one of my stuporous attempts at self-defense. Wherever you are, know that I’ll always remember you (at least for another day or so), and that I hope I never see you again.

Rob Weychert