Tag Archives: gross

When Mosquitoes Attack

It really started earlier in the day, because even when I break the rules, I observe the rules. I had two Aleve in the morning, then another two Aleve sometime in the afternoon, knowing damn well that the instructions restrict consumption to three Aleve in 24 hours, and only if the pain subsists. Later that evening, in bed and alone, my face starts to itch; what comes to mind? The side effects of Aleve abuse, or signs of an allergic reaction. There I am itching my temples, cheeks, and chin, as my concern starts to spread, the affected area begins to condense. Just as I’m about to reach for and re-read the bottle, to properly inform the forthcoming EMT operator of my self diagnosis, the pulsating mound protruding from my inner right eyebrow gives away the culprit. A slight shade develops as I confirm the marble sized mosquito bite blocking my eyelid from properly opening; it looked quite robotic actually, like I was shape shifting in the moment.

My parents are both Saint Lucian, nothing like this happens to them. My sister and I are Canadian and wildly allergic, not fatally, just cosmetically. My sister in particular has a history of mosquitoes twice biting her eyelid, which completely shut her eye closed and gravely scared our family the first time. I have been hospitalized three times in my life, the first was from a mosquito bite engulfing my forehead as a child, I don’t actually remember this, the story just gets retold by my parents every summer; the other two occasions require separate blog posts. Between now and then, my mosquito victimization has been limited to large quantities of bites lacing my arms or legs, most uncomfortably on my thumb where every movement constituted an itch.

Being an outdoorsy person, my summers are hard. I have left rooms due to mosquito shadows in my peripheral vision, because even in a room full of warm blooded Americans, I’m always the target. I refused to go to sleep that evening until I killed the mosquito terrorist and wasn’t an all night buffet. The hunt was short, within ten minutes the mosquito was mangled with a 700 page collection of Sherlock Holmes stories; then I fell asleep without applying any magical solutions from my internet searches. The site flattened overnight from its original beveled square shape. Without suffering through any real urges to itch, all remnants of the original shock were gone within two days. Great way to start the season, this is war, I’m going on the offensive this summer; in the mean time, hopefully I just survived the West Nile virus, and earned lifelong immunity.


Creative Memory Fiction

Jo-Ann and I went to the Brooklyn Museum for Target First Saturday. There we met staff members issuing cards to random museum goers for the artistic purpose of exchanging memories. Each card asked for a cardholder’s name, title of a memory, its date, and details of the memory to relay to a perfect stranger. We decided to make sure someone left with a deeply disturbing memory. For the name we quickly agreed to be ambiguous, and use the overlapping characters of our first name: Jo. Then we started brainstorming ideas. The first few ideas all sounded too contrived. Jo-Ann was all about someone being naked or embarrassed. She mentioned a retainer in one of her ideas. I wanted to describe an experience worthy of a Post Secret entry, something that makes you wonder if people like this truly exist. Like a post that virally re-blogs on Tumblr because it sounds cool, and reminds young people of the depressing life they’d like to live despite their middle upper class upbringing.

We agreed Jo would do something terrible on their seventeenth birthday. A party was supposed to be involved, and the notion of drugs became a driving plotline. Trying to include most of those themes muddied our final product. Neither of us was as happy with the card we turned in, as the story we’d hoped to deliver.

The following is, in essence, the story we agreed upon:

My upper plastic retainer dislodged one evening. I meant to wash and re-apply it in the restroom. Upon opening the cabinet to retrieve the disinfectant, I found my twin sister’s retainer already soaking. Already lazy, I switched them in my curious state. To my initial disgust, my senses revealed her retainers had actually been soaking in water, grossly swimming in a Petri dish of her saliva. To my immediate surprise, I enjoyed her taste so much that I have intermittently switched our retainers ever since. Hopefully neither of our overbites ever recovers and I can continue drinking her.

We received and traded two stories in return, both of which were terribly bland. One was an interpretation of a painting at the museum, the other was nonsensically happy.