The Lament

The Lament

By Gale Griffth

(I Can’t Catch Mosquitoes Anymore)


mosquitoIt never was a contest. From the time I was a youngster, living the country life every summer at our cottage, the mosquitoes in my native Canada didn’t stand a chance!

I was energetic, swift and accurate and I practiced two methods of attack.

My favorite method was, indeed, a feat! As a mosquito prepared to dive onto my vulnerable bare skin  —be it a sockless ankle between shoe and jeans, or my swimsuit-clad torso—  I aborted it’s approach in mid-air with a reaching, grasping snatch followed immediately by a tight-fisted move to the leg where I promptly flapped my hand against my thigh. 

Mosquito rendered dead!

My second method of mosquito murder was much less dramatic. It simply consisted of a flat-palmed, serious slap as the blood-thirsty little critter attempted to pierce my epidermis with it’s hypodermic needle.  It never even saw me coming!

For decades I was well-practiced and rarely missed my mark…

But, alas, a new day has dawned. Could it be that the mosquitoes in Mexico, my chosen country of retirement, are faster than those in Canada?  In protection of my wounded ego, I try to tell myself that they are… but deep down I begrudgingly have to agree with myself that perhaps, just perhaps, it is actually a matter of my slower, age-affected reflexes.

These Mexican mosquitoes elude my efforts to the point of exasperation! How could a skill, so perfected, reverse itself so pitifully?

And, as if to add insult to injury, when there happens along a mosquito so thirsty that it is too weak to move quickly and my reflexes DO manage to encapsulate it, woe is me again! Palms that were once flat are now concave in shape, offering perfect flight freedom to an escape route between arthritic-bent fingers that no longer close tightly to make a fist.

I can’t catch mosquitoes anymore!

And they call it the “Golden Age”??

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