Sunday, May 24, 2009

Graveyard Duty

Sleeping with the windows open is living poetry. The sound of rain, pigeons cooing, crows calling in the night; helicopter returning to the hospital - it's definitely not lupus - while an ambulance rolls past in silence; cold sweet air flows in through the window and drops to the floor, the smell of wet compost follows it in and clings to my nostrils; cats arguing about territory or mates, a lonely dog barks in the distance.

Nothing really compares.

But the smell of compost isn't the only thing that follows the cold sweet air into the room - mosquitoes also find their way inside. Once they make it past the spiderwebs, there's nothing stopping them. Nothing, that is, except the loafer. I think I crushed about a hundred mosquitoes last year, perched upon my walls and ceiling. Usually it was dark, very late, and I was very very tired, so I generally didn't bother to scrape their little twisted corpse off the wall. Something I'd rather do in the morning.

Of course, when the morning finally came, I'd wake up late and rush through shower and breakfast, to then race through the streets of Groningen and (hopefully) catch the train at the last second. Ooops - I forgot about the mosquitoes again. I'll clean it up when I get home.

Of course, when I came home after a long day, I had some dinner and relaxed, and only when it was very late did I even think about what the bedroom was like. By then the room was again filled with mosquitoes for me to find and execute, and the cycle continued.

The room became a grotesque graveyard - bodies of the fallen were scattered over the walls, windows, and ceiling. A three-dimensional display of torn and shattered corpses, gruesome poses mimicking their past lives, unidentifiable smears left by bodies long gone. The mosquitoes along the window frame have been taken over by mold - green and blue and black and gray.

Yesterday graveyard duty finally arrived for real - some potential new tenants are coming to view the house tomorrow, so it needs to be clean. A sponge and some soapy water, and the deed was done; headstones removed, memories erased, conscience cleaned.

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