Saturday, February 23, 2008

Again, Mosquitoes
Rowan, at age 3, has the metabolism of a small thermonuclear reactor, and as a result radiates waves of molten heat. Every mosquito in a one-hundred-meter radius homes in on that heat.

Our 3-foot-tall pile of magma is also so fair-skinned as to be translucent, so the host of mosquito bites she received in our Mumbai hotel room swelled to an angry, impossible red. The bites on her face made her look puffy and disfigured, although she smiled and laughed through all of it.

Thankfully, I’ve acquired a fantastic anti-itch cream from the chemists, we’ve secured netting for her bed, and now also liberally coat her with Odomos anti-mosquito gel when we head out at dusk. She asked what the family on the Odomos tube was doing --- the picture is of a fair-skinned Indian man, woman and child, holding each other and high-beaming pearly white smiles as, surrounding their heads, a shimmering shield of Odomos anti-mosquito gel repels the insects.

“They’re under a mosquito shield,” I told her.

“I want a mosquito shield for our family, Daddy!” she said.

The industrious little fuckers still find places to bite her, though. She came home the other night with three new bites, all on her fingertips, where the anti-mosquito gel had been rubbed off.