The Mosquito

It’s 5:30 am.

I’m sitting at the dining room table.

Typing away.

Trying to pull words out of my head.

A mosquito lands next to my coffee cup.

I watch it.

Wait.

Wonder.

Is it going to bite me?

That’s its instinct.

That’s what it needs to do to survive.

Should I smack it?

That’s not my instinct.

Well, not in this context.

Well, not any more.

Well, I don’t think it ever was my instinct.

Well, there was a time.

When I was young.

When I was a killer of flies.

Well, I don’t think that was me either.

Well, it was.

For a time.

A different time.

And, during that different time, I didn’t like anything that was different.

I feared different.

Different was a mirror.

Still is.

Mirrors were full of questions.

Still are.

And, during that different time, questions were threatening.

I had no space for them.

I had no time to contemplate them.

Formulate answers to them.

Questions make requests.

Slow you down.

Get you caught.

I didn’t want to get caught.

So, questions were not welcomed.  

Different was not welcomed.

Nowadays?

I collect questions.

Dig out my interiority.

Open up space to hold them.

Live them.

I watch it.

Wait.

Wonder.

Is it dying?

Its wings are splayed.

Maybe, it’s in its final moments.

Other insects have joined me in the early hours when it was near their end.

I write.

They sit close.

And, by the time I close my laptop, they are on their backs.

Gone.

It walks over to me.

Comes closer to me.

I keep my fingers on the keys.

I watch it.

Wait.

Wonder.

Should I kill it?

It’s just a mosquito.

Insignificant.

Deadly.

Its kind takes over one million lives each year.

In Honduras, I have friends who have been sickened by its kind.

They may have lost loved ones to its kind.

While bending into an out of a bed of flowers.

I have been fed upon by many of its kind.

I have smacked many of its kind.

Instinctively.

Mercilessly.

But this is not Honduras.

I do not fear death or disease from them.

I fear discomfort.

And, right now.

Not being under an immediate threat from it or its kind.

I can sit here.

Pause.

Consider my fear of discomfort.

Its power to hierarchically elevate.

Separate me from the ten thousand things.

And, how this contemplative moment is absolutely dripping with privilege.

It moves within an inch of my arm.

Flops on its back and wriggle its legs a bit in the air.

I watch it.

Wait.

Wonder.

Is it dead?

I blow a puff of air onto it.

It tumbles a couple inches away.

Flips right side up.

Folds in its wings.

Takes an aggressive stance and stares at my arm.

I stare back.

It’s high noon.

I watch it.

Wait.

Wonder.

Does it know that I am writing about whether or not I am going to kill it?

My coffee is cold.

It’s 7 am.

I only get until 7 am to write about things that want to be written about.

I watch it.

Wait.

Wonder.

How should I end this?

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Thanks. – shawn

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