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Red Crude

I like summer. I don’t like jungles. Jungles like the one in the quarry behind my house. On a walk back to the burn pile today I was visited by one of nature’s tiniest winged creatures. Weighing less than nothing, this pesky irritant had landed on my tanned forearm unnoticed.

As I was about my serious business of engulfing the week’s trash in orange flames and smoke, I felt the slight tinge of what reminded me of a needle. My attention caught I pulled my arm up to see the cause of the pain. Wings spread wide, a mosquito had buried its sharp proboscis into my flesh and had just begun (I assume) to pump my A-positive red crude into its body. Before he or she was done I swiped the insect from my right arm with my left. This all took seconds but the brief image of what I saw inspired me to write these words. Though I couldn’t detect eyes, the “look” of this guy was intense and purposeful. Just the audacity of the penetration, as if it had a right to the contents of my veins. I felt powerless – but only for a split second – before its life was ended by my powerful left -- palm.

I refused to let my body be misused like that. This “thing” apparently took me for some unsuspecting dolt who would kindly offer up myself for his gratification. If evolution had indeed visited the lowly mosquito species of insects I would have loved to know from where they began and to where they are headed.

If I had to venture a guess, I would be inclined to place money on the idea that they haven’t evolved at all. I would wager the Egyptians battled the non-mutated ancestor who dared to siphon my eastern European plasma.

I’m really not sure how much he got away with but if he were alive today, I don’t think it would see it as a worthy endeavor. My insect encounter today was just the most recent in a long line of showdowns with the syringe wielding mosquitoes of the world. I am proud to say at age 72, I am undefeated.

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