It is the Sunday before the supposed birthdate of the first Palestinian, and I am in El Gouna, Egypt — an American expat, living the dream, except for my bruised coccyx.
This happened two nights ago, as I was concluding my mop-up operation against the mozzies. I had pretty much cleared the villa of all skeeters, except for one, or maybe three, and I was determined to rid my house of these persistent pests.
Perhaps I was unduly enraged by the creepiness of this Last Insect Standing brazenly buzzing by me in the evening as I tried to watch TV, but something snapped, and finally I said: This is it, my beit will be cleansed, once and for all.
You come into my house and try take over? I am going to find you, wherever you are, and terminate you, I screamed silently, through clenched Arab-American teeth.
And so I turned on all the lights and hunted the bastard down. I finally found him, high up on a wall in the living room, to the left of the AC, and so I stepped up on the divan, which has oversized pillows, meaning they are bigger than the frame of the divan, and reached up to kill this skeeter with one fell slap — and lost my balance, as I stepped back and the pillow I was standing on suddenly gave.
I fell backward, hitting my tailbone against the stone floor, then the back of my neck and upper spine, and then I felt the back of my head bounce off the floor. For a moment I thought this was it, I had a concussion, and my head would explode in short order from internal hemorrhaging inside my cranium. There was no avatar watching over me. I would die alone in the cruel desert, friendless, but for a cat meowing for me to give it food, outside in the cold night air.
This did not happen, but I had to retreat to the Mosinet, going to bed far too early for my liking — and livid that a handful of skeeters were ruining my otherwise pleasant stay at the villa.
When I awoke, I managed to kill a few dead-enders using the battle-tested techniques described in the previous post, then I went to town, and bought two cans of RAID flying insect killer, as well as some more Citronella ammo sticks, and waited for evening to fall, when I would at last put an end to this war, and extract my revenge.
By 8PM I had so many sticks burning that the last few remaining skeeters all retreated to the first floor bathroom (mozzies loves bathrooms), and seeing them there, I closed the door, trapping them, retrieved the RAID, came back in the bathroom with a fistful of fury, and let them have it, as they tried in vain to cower in their spider holes, that is to say, various cracks in the walls, as well as behind the bathroom mirror. It was a battle between good and evil. I knew that these skeeters hated my human way of life, and thus had to be eliminated with nothing less than extreme prejudice.
After this murderous act of vengeful insecticide, I was finally able, for the first time since arriving here a week ago, to watch TV and even doze on the couch late at night, without being disturbed or bitten by the mozzies from hell.
Sweet. The place was now mine, and mine alone. I was in my walled garden, allowing only those whom I chose to let in be there.
The moral of the story is this: if something is annoying you, remove it from your plane of consciousness. If it be skeeters, kill ’em all, without mercy. If it be loud neighbors, go live in the mountains or soundproof your house. If it be a clown president, relegate him to irrelevancy.
As an Epicurean (at least, in my less analytical moments), I value tranquility (a term I favor, instead of the obviously false dichotomy of characterizing the absence of pain as equivalent to pleasure, which typifies classic Epicureanism) over chaos; and seek serenity and freedom from physical discomfort, or any form of psychological agita. Simple pleasures in moderation, a few good friends, and complete privacy is all I need to be happy, which I axe-grindingly define as being free at last from the tentacles of a gullible, dying civilization that has already — in less than a year — receded into megalomania and second tier, if that, status on the global stage.
As for my bruised tailbone, no worries; the discomfort has already gone. away I am far less frail in my old age than I thought.