After moving to Cobble Hill, I noticed a particularly vicious type of mosquito in the ‘hood, one I hadn’t notice in Chinatown, where I'd moved from, or Park Slope, where I’d lived for many years. These Cobble Hill Tigers, as I called them, had black and white striped abdomens, bit me during the day, and tormented my nights, even with screens on my windows. There was more than one late evening or early morning that found me, with toes and fingers and face stinging from bites, atop my bed with all the lights on and wielding a tightly folded Harper’s against my foes, smacking my own blood upon the walls and gleefully cackling like a Cro-Magnon who has just dispatched the last giant elk in the Ardennes. Nature red in tooth and claw, you motherfuckers.
Well, yesterday I read about the invasive Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, a nasty little number imported in used tires and now rife up and down the East Coast. No entymologist, I’m not sure that’s who these blood-sucking fiends are, since there are some similar domestic devils, but clearly it’s a matter for jihad.
Last night, I was bitten on the palm of my hand. I used to think my demise would come from a rampaging cabbie plowing the sidewalk, but now I fear it’ll be dengue fever. As the climate warms, tropical diseases will migrate north. And I am pure skeeter bait. Not so long ago, after boating on the Hudson, I had to take a leak, and since it was dark, I did so off the edge of the dock. And, yes, I was bit there.
While being kept up last night by the pain in my hand, I was reminded that one of the things I most missed about being uncoupled is spooning. (Hell, I could’ve kept her awake with my whining!) Manning the outside or the inside position, I love the intimacy and comfort of two S-shape bodies pressing against each other. I last did that with the Cooperator. [Insert lengthy sigh here.] While I can take care of myself, thank you very much, being a bachelor does have its downsides.
I used to think I was searching for a heart of gold. (And you know the next line of the song.) In a way, I wanted to be saved by some beauty. I’m still searching, of course, only now I know that that heart of gold isn’t anybody else’s. It’s mine. Like the birds in the Sufi mystic Attar’s Conference of the Birds: they go searching for the One, the Way, God, Love – whatever you want to call it – and discover at the end of the long path… themselves.