Mosquito in Profile

Late last night I felt a mosquito alight upon my exposed hand - the only portion of skin not hidden beneath quilt or pillow - and work his muzzle deep down into the dermis for a warm draft. And I'm fine with that. Hey, that's what I'm here for! I'm really just a walking, talking, 44oz, blood-flavored Big Gulp, and I accept that fate. I'm not going to spend my whole life begrudging an entire genus of plasma seekers their daily bread, but for the instant of mildest discomfort necessarily associated with the work. Just keep off the face, alright?

As I say, I could feel the rustle and occasional pinch of a mosquito making hay atop my right hand as I lay waiting for sleep. But as time wore on the sensation of being bit, usually a solitary event followed by acute stillness, repeated and increased in frequency. Eventually I lifted my head from the pillow and turned to address my hapless nurse who couldn't find the vein, readying a stern lecture on the evils of taking advantage of others' kindnesses. But what do I find here? Two mosquitos! Side by side, working their little noses into the fleshy buffet of my skin in unison; bearing all the aspect of a two-man team alternately humping away at a hand-pumped railroad car.

Two o'clock in the morning, or no: this was worth a photograph. Carefully I drew back the quilt and sheets and carefully I lifted my hand from the surface of the bed. And to my drinkers' merits they did not stir as I negotiated my camera.

But shooting photos in the dark - and one-handed nonetheless - takes some dialing-in; in the process of which one of my small companions filled his belly to the brim with blood and flitted off in gourmand satisfaction, leaving me but one prima donna to preen in the impromptu shoot.

See the blood reddening his belly? That's me!


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