amw (amw) wrote,


I am officially pissed at insects right now. For the last few months i have started to get bitten by mystery bugs overnight. And they aren't just little bites, they are bites that swell up and blister and generally make my life miserable for several days afterwards. A few weeks ago i had what is probably the worst bite of my life. It was on my thigh and swelled up the size of an orange. I took a photo and it legit looked pornographic - like i had a giant boob growing on my leg. I was terrified and texted a bunch of people TMI to figure out if i should write up my last will and testament or something. Googling did not help one bit, as most of the hits are from America and we all know how crazy Americans get when it comes to their health. I decided that since i had just come back from a wonderful holiday in Spain, worst that could happen is i die happy, so i just gritted my teeth and rode it out.

Within a few days it had gone, so i focused on my new job and got on with life. Sunday evening, after arriving home from the club, i was lying in bed half-passing-out and finally i heard some evidence. Buzzing! I sat bolt upright and spotted what i assume to be the culprit - a fucking mosquito. After months of being harrassed without a clue what kind of creature had done it, it was a relief to realize it wasn't bedbugs or fleas or some kind of crazy poisonous spider. Normally i do not kill insects, because i don't believe in killing animals unless i am going to eat them or wear their skin, but this was three months of pent-up agony. Unfortunately, by the time i found a piece of tissue to squish him with, he had disappeared. Or she, probably, since i read that it is only the female mosquito who bites. Oh well, life goes on. I wrapped myself up like a burrito and went to sleep.

Only to wake up Monday with an insane bite on the one part of my body that had protruded from the sheets overnight - my pinky. It was very, very, very fucking painful. By mid-morning it had swollen up so big i couldn't bend my pinky, or in fact feel anything in the last two fingers of my right hand at all. I finally cracked and went to the pharmacy to buy some very overpriced cortisone cream that is supposed to help swelling. I guess it did, because now it's Thursday and my fingers are back to normal, although i have a massive blister at the entry point.

Aside from the physical pain, the pinky attack was an unexpected start of a new strategy - psychological warfare. Apparently, the human brain ties its memories to certain body parts, because when i went to the ATM to get out some money i was completely incapable of remembering my PIN. I knew the number it started with, but tried three different numbers that "felt right" and promptly got locked out of my account. After calling the bank i got my card unlocked, only to try again and still be locked out. Honest to God, my PIN was totally and completely gone. I freaked out and started doubting my sanity. When i got home, to my good fortune i discovered i had in fact kept that magical piece of paper they send you your PIN on, and i realized that i had typed every digit in correctly, except for the one i normally use my pinky or ring finger to press. Holy fucking Christ. The human brain is unbelievably fragile.

Then, this morning. Oh my God, this morning. Stung directly on my butt, and again on the sole of my foot. I can't imagine either spot provided much nourishment for the little fuckers, but they have made today suck suck suck. Sitting at my desk i was constantly squirming and occasionally i noticed myself absentmindedly scratching my butt. Not a good look. But walking home was even worse; it felt like my shoe was filling up with blood on every step and i was hobbling like grandma. God fucking damnit, why won't they leave me alone?

What makes this so frustrating is that, much like everyone else in the world, i have been annoyed by insect bites all my life. But never - even after living in Australia for 10 years, even after camping in the lake district of rural Canada - never have i had such bad reactions. Now i am living in the middle of the city in a first-world country on the fourth floor of an apartment building in goddamn Europe, aka the least-dangerous continent of all, and i am crippled by a lowly mosquito. Well, yes, mosquitos kill more than any other animal in the world. But that's not supposed to happen in Berlin, for fuck's sake. And i don't know what to do. Buy a fucking mosquito net? I don't have a bed, i am sleeping on the floor, and even then my ceiling is too high to reach without a 10 foot ladder. If a mosquito is the thing that forces me to buy a bunch of crap i don't need they have officially trumped partners as the worst parasites of all.

Some part of me keeps hoping that if i get bit enough maybe i will develop tolerance and eventually go back to getting those elegant little pink bumps that everyone else gets when bitten by a mosquito. A little itchy spot would be heaven compared to this torture. But this last couple weeks has me losing my faith. I'm not sure what to do. Perhaps i will try closing all my windows overnight for the next week or two and see if it helps. This sucks.

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