At first, they would gather in my yard around dusk, gliding in on silent wings, lurking in dark corners, waiting. I only felt their greedy mouths on my neck when it was too late to get away. By early June they had freed themselves from the cloak of night and settled around my home in the early morning, darting around the spiderwort in the searing noon sun, stalking me in the lengthening afternoon shadows. There was no escape.
You know that I do not speak of the vampire or the zombie. I know that you know that. And you know that I know that you also know there is no solution, no remedy. Only the terror of knowing they will be there, waiting.
Mosquitoes! What are you going to do with them? Spraying Off! insect repellent on my skin and clothes only makes them laugh. “Is that all ya got, chickie?” I heard one whisper in my ear, “I feed that stuff to my kids for dessert!” A gallon of Ortho insecticide sent my hibiscus into shock droop. “My posse freebases that junk to get high,” one of them offered in a more sympathetic tone. I think it was trying to be helpful, taking me aside so its friends couldn’t hear. “Have you tried CO2, heat, and Octenol? It’s one of those machine thingies, like a bug zapper, only bigger. Lost my best bud, Spike, last year to one of those. Don’t tell anybody I told you, huh?” “My lips are sealed,” I lied.
Uncertain whether the bug was putting me on, I googled the machine thingie. It’s called a Skeetervac, and it retails for $399.99.