June 13, 2008

insect symphony

The sound that I had taken to be the hum of traffic from a nearby highway actually turned out to be coming from much closer. When I looked outside I saw mosquitoes--swarms of them. Over the past hour the buzzing of the mosquitoes had risen to a steady drone.

I realized that every window in the hotel had a thick enough cloud of insects gathering outside it to darken the mid-afternoon sun. The meeting had been temporarily adjourned as everyone stared at the bugs, reluctant to get too close to the windows.

Some of the mosquitoes had landed and were dragging their diamond-hard proboscises down the outside of the boardroom window, scoring tiny white lines in the pane of glass.

In the back of the crowd, without anyone noticing, I had pulled up the sleeve of my shirt. There were spiders attached to the skin of my arm. Three large spiders, black and furry, were stuck like leeches to my left forearm.