11 August 2009

In the dark of night

I flicked the switch by my door and then walked around my bed in the dark and climbed in. The red digital numbers across from me read 2:30. Really later than I'd meant to stay up. I settled in under the covers, first lying on my left side and then flipping over to my right, trying to relax into sleep. Then I heard a very faint buzzing. In straining to discern what it was I became really alert.

It sounded like a not too distant mosquito. Outside perhaps? With my window a/c off, sounds from outside come through fairly clearly. I waited and after a while the telltale buzz passed close by my ear and I went into seizure mode, flailing my arms rapidly overhead. The buzz faded with increased distance.

I can't sleep leaving my face and neck out as an open buffet.

I threw the covers back and haltingly retraced my steps back to the light switch and flipped it on. I tore off a piece of paper towel I had on my desk, sat on my bed, and scanned the walls for the mosquito. I saw a likely prospect and squashed the heck out of it, but couldn't seem to pull it off the wall afterwards. Then I realized it was just one of the many old holes in my walls.

I sat back down and kept looking. I couldn't hear it anymore. Started to wonder if my tinnitus had taken a cruel turn for the worse. Then I spotted something flying near the wall and went after it. A small bug with narrow powdery wings: definitely not a mosquito. I tried to squash it anyway, but it zig-zagged away, diving behind my chest of drawers.

After fifteen minutes of no mosquito sign, I gave up, turned the light out and got back into bed. It was 3:03.

The faint buzz returned. It was distinct from the faint ringing in my ears which I found vaguely encouraging. Hearing imaginary mosquitoes might actually be enough to trigger a final mental break.

The mosquito didn't sound like it was getting closer, so I tried to fall asleep thinking I'd smack it if it landed. Don't hesitate because you're bare-handed, I told myself. Don't miss your window because you're too squeamish and don't feel like getting out of bed to wash bug guts off your hands.

It never felt like I fell asleep but I must have eventually. I'm not covered with bites today, so that's good, but it also has me wondering if my brain is messing with me.


A year ago on TTaT: Handball is not what I thought it was

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