Running from Mosquitoes
I try to walk several miles every day, rain or shine. It’s not meant to be my workout, it’s just supposed to be a little walk. It gets the circulation going, gives me a chance to mentally process the day’s activities and serves as a welcome reprieve for my eyes, which spend far too much time gazing at the infinite flatness of a computer screen.
On most days, I walk at a leisurely pace along a nearby forest preserve path that winds its way through a sparsley wooded field. In July, the field is a thicket of purple coneflowers, Queen Anne’s lace and mosquitoes. The coneflowers and Queen Anne’s lace are delightful additions to the ambiance of the walk. But the mosquitoes are another story.
They swarm around ankles and ears emitting a barely but always audible metallic hiss. It sounds something this: zhizhizhizzzzhhhiii. Except worse. Just the thought of that wretched sound sends my arms flailing about my head, swatting at the air. It makes me itch, regardless of whether or not a mosquito has actually bitten me. Usually it has. The noise is so hideous that for the month of July I don’t walk through the coneflowers and lace: I run. My meditative walks become frenetic workouts.