Saturday, September 04, 2004

I know it's awful how long I drag things on for, but I felt the need to write about the bites from my camping trip. I think that everyone deserves to know why my legs look scratched up and infected. Please hold the vomit until this entry ends.

During the two nights of camping I sprayed myself liberally with Off! mosquito repellent despite my lack of faith in it and its cheap expired scented bathroom cleaner smell. I'm not sure if it was the smell emanating from a group of people all wearing the repelent that created a mosquito free zone or the fact that I wore sweatpants and a long sleeved shirt, but I was bite-free for the first two days. This may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but it's a huge accomplishment for me. Mosquitos love me. Chinese mosquitos, Canadian mosquitos - all kinds of mosquitos. It is not uncommon for me to be covered in forty or so bites. Exacerbating this obviously attractive addition to my somewhat normal skin, bites swell up to enormous sizes, the redness spanning an average of two to three cm; more if I scratch. Summer requires shorts and tshirts, so unfortunately, I have scarred many with my gross mosquito bites, some broken and bleeding from incessant scratching.

Now back to the camping trip. You can imagine my delight at finding no red itchy bumps upon waking. On the third (last) morning, I discovered three tiny bumps behind my red knee during breakfast, and promptly showed everyone. They (the bites, not my friends) were equal in size and arranged horizontally; my bug was organized. I wasn't upset, because three is nothing, but I was confused by their size. I kept on checking throughout the day to see if they had expanded exponentially in size. I decided it had to be an insect other than the mosquito, but that thought was disconcerting because mosquitos and I have formed a relationship long ago. The kind where we try to outsmart each other, the kind where I can hear them from far away, the kind where I have perfected my death-clap. To my horror, I found more throughout the day, which can only mean I got bitten in broad daylight. And not by mosquitos. Right.

After camping, I made the mistake of going to the beach at night. I came back with bites on my face and leg. It's funny that I started to look like psychotic grave digger with serious skin problems AFTER the camping trip. I already had multiple scars on my legs from biking and the inevitable daily accidents that befall someone clumsy like me. Add on the scratches and the gross bites I was a nightmare. On trips to ice cream, safeway, the bookstore and Rogers Video, I inadvertently made many little children cry. At one period even I was disgusted by how my legs looked, and I am not easily grossed out. So what did I do then? I took pictures. You should be very very glad I'm not posting those pictures on the internet.

The reason I am writing about this now is that weeks after I got bitten, the mosquito bites have disappeared but the other bites are still visible and still itchy. My legs look better now, and less red, but walking through a playground today I again elicited horrified stares at my leg. What makes this whole mosquito/other-insect situation so awesome is that I don't heal well and I scar easily. Little children beware! I have braces too!

Obviously, I made no effort to make a long story short.

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