This writing is meant to be paired with this song. But you are free to do as you please.
I realize I am no longer alone in this shed I call home. I thrust my kettlebell up one more time and drop it to find the intruder. A mosquito has made his presence known in this sweltering square of a room. We make eye contact after his initial attack and now he circles me. I watch him with daggers in my eyes; I watch until I lose sight. He maneuvers so that my vision crosses, I can no longer follow and then he turns to flank me.
Aimer Sans Amour plays through the speakers. I wear just shorts and sneakers. Sweat beads on my skin in response to the hodgepodge workout I conduct with a lone kettlebell and body weight. He attacks again. I feel him pierce my skin with a tingle that alerts first that region of my body and then, through a system of pulleys and levers and nerves and fibers, the news reaches my mind. The message is short, a malicious event has transpired on my empire. Specifically, the dorsal region of my arm. More specifically, several coordinates above and slightly to the left of my left elbow. My skin smolders. It inflames and protrudes as the histamine releases and the first responders arrive in all their hurry.
Ah, the irritation!
He circles my body again as I flail and slap my skin confusing a previous sting for new one. Another false alarm. My life halts again and I frantically scan the room. Like dancers, my body turns clockwise as my head swivels in pursuit; My eyes stay locked on him as he circles me again and again I lose sight. It is just him and I in this standoff. The cicadas outside buzz and roar as spectators rooting, I’m sure, for their distant cousin, twice removed. I will win, eventually. But for now, I’ve lost sight and so I lose hope on the attempt to murder him and continue my workout.
But I cannot focus, my mind is consumed with war. Is that sweat that drips from my back or is it his spindly legs that bristle against me? It is the paranoia that kills me. If I could only turn the alerts off on this trivial matter. So what a bug bite? I don’t need to know. We as a human species could finally reach a detente with this timeless enemy, the pernicious mosquito. I would happily leave a vial of blood if we could just reach an agreement. Take five drops of my nectar, daily. Please, just leave my sanity intact.
And still, I have not found him. I am deteriorating and he knows it. What if I die before he does? Ah, what a feast that would be. A lottery ticket he could not imagine. He could feed himself and his family, his lovers, his lovers’ lovers, his cousins, and brothers with my corpse.
Would he recognize my last breath as the last? Would he realize his triumph and slow his circle as I lay dying in this room of mine? Would he gently begin his descent on to my chest so that I am forced to watch him consume me? Would he slowly thrust his thin dagger into my heart as he stares into my heavy eyes, the same that once pursued him? Would he keep his needle in me so he could feel my heart pump the last rush of blood?
Ah, but in that moment, my elbow bends, my dying hand rises from behind him. He senses the weight of this heavy hand, this shadow of death, as a shiver in his wings. Absorbed in his triumph, he notices a moment too late and with my dying breath my hand falls over my chest, crushing him. And, as enemies, we arrive together to whatever awaits those who’ve lived.