After our mountain lion/bobcat scare, I kick Carlos out of the car at midnight and put down the back seat. Stretching out, I fall asleep.
At 2:30 a.m. Carlos barks alert, staring at the same spot from which we heard the ominous feline noises at dusk.
I put the seat down again. Carlos jumps in and quickly settles.
I curl up in my abbreviated sleeping space, pull on my eye mask and pull up the sheet.
The mosquitos I saw in the car earlier before I turned off the lights were tiny. These aren’t the big kind that drink enough blood to burst when you swat them. I wonder idly, are they juvenile mosquitos? Or another species of mosquito?
Sigh. Turn over. Carefully cover exposed skin on foot, ankle, hand, arm with the sheet.
It is a constant noise. It doesn’t stop.
I put my earplugs back in.
I toss and turn a while. The sheet makes me hot. I miss the air from the hatch, which I closed when I heard what might be a mountain lion or a bobcat at the edge of camp. I’m actually feeling a little claustrophobic, which is not a usual feeling state for me. Air! I need air! I rip off the face mask and sit up. Breathe deep.
Settle back again. Same routine: face mask, sheet, cover all skin.
A hand is not big enough to catch these littl’uns. Slapping my hands in the air is futile. I know that, even as I blindly slap my hands in the air all around my head.
Aha. A bigger surface is right here. I grab the top edge of the sheet with both hands and flap it up and down. No, still buzzing. I snap it up and down, to the left and the right, covering every cubic inch of air around my head.
It sounds discouraged. I snap and flap some more.
I burrow under the sheet up to my chin and cover both ears with my pillow, bringing it up around to my cheeks.
“Bzzzz….” HOW can I still hear it with ear plugs on AND a pillow over my ears? HOW?
I dismiss the possibility that I am hallucinating. I’ve never hallucinated. No sense starting now.
I flip and flap some more, taking rests in between. I am becoming more and more awake. Wide awake. What time is it? It must be between 2 and 3 a.m. now. I have a HUGE days today and Monday. The sale outside the storage unit would be physically and cognitively challenging under the best of circumstances. Lack of sleep combined with the ongoing threat of diarrhea promise a difficult day, and the latter rules out coffee.
Snap. Flap. Rest.
Hey! I don’t hear it! I feel no jubilation, just tiredness and growing apprehension about handling the sale today alone. And having to sort all the items and boxes soaked in the downpour yesterday. I’ll have to strip off disintegrating cardboard, examine art for water seepage onto the mats or prints and probably sell or dump items I otherwise would have kept.
I decide to use the two outdoor carpets I have at the campsite and some of the wet packing blankets to create price zones. $1, $3, $5 and $10. No negotiating if it’s on a blanket or rug. Negotiating is the most exhausting aspect of sales for me. More expensive items I will arrange in the storage unit; those I’ll bargain.
At the same time I have to load and move to the new unit the rest of the boxes that I want to keep. Only a few at a time will fit with the dogs in the back seat and the bedding folded in the back.
I am wide awake.
I lie in silence, though not in peace, staring out the window up at tree branches.
Until the next mosquito arrives.
I sit up. Oh look, the sky is lightening. I reach for my cell phone. Nice. 4:45 a.m.
I start writing this blog entry. Now it’s 5:15 and I have the alarm set for six. I might as well get up. Wow. Two point five hours of sleep.
The mosquitoes won.