Monday, February 11, 2008

Upside Down

Hiding behind the glass patio door, I watched Ben wrangle with the mower. The poor thing was surrounded in a mini tornado of dust and sand as he mowed for the first time in months. Every step caused dirt to explode around his feet, settling on his socks and clinging to his legs. His dark hair was covered in a fine coating of sandy dust that had even settled into the lines around his eyes as he scowled at me through the window. As I watched from the safety of the clean and sand-tornado free house, I heard a tiny whine.

"In Me Fence Don't?"

"What?" I snapped, looking down. My eyes widened. My nemesis, a large mosquito, lay within inches of my bare arm. I despise mosquitoes.

"What are you talking about?" I asked, stepping back and hitting the kitchen chair with my back. I cursed and continued to slowly edge away from the mosquito.

"Your shirt!" the mosquito whined. "In Me Fence Don't? What does it mean?" I looked down at my T-shirt. A watercolor "My Little Pony" was rearing behind a fence.

"It says don't fence me in," I explained. "See, the pony is behind the fence..."

"That makes much more sense," the mosquito buzzed happily. "And why is your mouth above your head? Are you a pony? You certainly can not be a human."

"I'm not a pony," I argued, briefly wishing I was one. "I'm a human."

"You don't look like a human," the mosquito argued. "Your head is where your feet should be. You're wearing your shirt where your skirt should be."

Studying the mosquito, I cocked my head.

"You're upside down," I informed him. "That's why things look different." The mosquito cocked his tiny head at me. I took another step back. Dumb as this mosquito was, I was in no mood for a big itchy welt. The mosquito clung tightly to the glass as he carefully turned himself around.

"Oh," he cried, fluttering his tiny wings. A familiar high-pitched buzz filled the air and I cringed involuntarily. "Oh, this is lovely! Everything makes so much sense now!"

"Lovely," I said, rubbing the goosebumps on my arms. "Would you like to go back outside?" The mosquito peered out the window. "You mean I am not outside now?" he cried. "That makes so much more sense! I was wondering where all the dirt and animals were!"

This, I thought to myself as I brushed him out the door, was the dumbest mosquito I had ever met in my life. Using a paper towel I held out at arm's length, I brushed the mosquito out of the screen door and closed it tightly. Ben was still surrounded in a hurricane of dirt as he persevered through the yard.

"Thank you!" the mosquito whined appreciatively. "I do appreciate it. I like the dirt much nicer than your stables."

"I'm not a pony," I reminded him. "This is a house, not a stable." The mosquito buzzed an apology. "Can you do me a favor?" I asked. "Can you not bite my husband please?" I pointed to Ben, who was now cursing as he wrangled the mower around our trees. The mosquito looked at Ben, then looked at me.

"Oh pony-lady, you're silly!" the mosquito laughed shrilly. "Mosquitoes do not eat dust devils! In fact, I'm a different type of mosquito! I dine on something no other mosquito eats! I'm special!"

"You sure are," I muttered, relieved to know the mosquito would not take a bite of Ben. It was paying off to have a stupid mosquito. "What do you eat then?"

"Barbeque!" the mosquito cried joyfully. He sniffed, his long nose pressed to the glass. "I think I smell one now. Good bye!" The mosquito flung himself in the air and flew away. I rolled my eyes. He was one dumb mosquito. Everyone knows mosquitoes don't eat barbeque.

Taking pity on Ben, who was now indistinguishable from the dirt in the air, I set a glass of water on the porch. He stopped the mower and came over, drinking it down in long gulps.

"Do you smell that?" he said, sniffing the air. "Someone's cooking out. We should have barbecue tonight."

A faint whining buzz filled my ears and I shook my head. "Maybe another night," I said, rubbing my arms. They were welt-free, and that's how I intended to be.