Every thirty minutes.
Every. Damn. Night.
I've not been sleeping well, in fact I've hardly been sleeping at all. The best I can manage is a half doze before the bitch wakes me up.
For the past few nights there has been a mosquito in my flat. Every half hour she has been buzz bombing my face, looking to land in order to suck my blood.
Try as I might I can't catch her.
So every half hour I slam on the bedside lamp, grab my glasses and rolled up copy of Wired Magazine and dance futilely around my bedroom trying to track her down.
But she always seems to vanish, only to return half an hour later as I've just dropped off to sleep.
If I could I'd just sleep and let her feed – I've been bitten so many times the bites don't bother me so much now. But there is something in my animal brain that wakes me up, instantly, when a mosquito buzzes past.
Female mosquitos are the only ones that bite – they use the blood to build their eggs. Male mosquitos are harmless and eat nectar and fruit juices.
Female mosquitos track their prey by body heat, scent and by sensing the carbon dioxide given off by breathing.
I try to breathe quietly, to form a pool of carbon dioxide to act as bait. But she doesn't come.
I turn on every light in my flat, my eyes scan the walls for silhouettes, but to no avail.
Every half hour I wake.
I'm trying to shift from night shifts to early starts. It's hard enough for me at the best of times, but to have my sleep disturbed in such a fundamental manner is making it painful for me.
I want to sleep during the day and hunt at night – just like her.
You can tell a male from a female mosquito because the males have larger and bushier antenna.
The base 'buzz' of a mosquito's flight is around 400 Hz.
Every half hour I wake.
My eyes snap open and I look around the room. My attention is drawn by 'floaters', retinal cells floating in the fluid of my eye. That's when I can open my eyes – without sleep they start to fail after around twelve hours of use.
I want to cry. I probably will today – lack of sleep has that effect on me.
I feel like I'm in an Edgar Allen Poe story – 'The Telltale Mosquito Buzz'
Later today, when the shops have opened I'm going to buy the nastiest, evilist, most enviromentally unfriendly spray that I can find – then at the half hour point I shan't look, I shan't open my eyes.
I'll just listen to her approach and empty the contents of the can into the air above my face.
'Do not inhale' the can will say – but It will do it's job, because either that bitch will die, or I will.
And at least then I won't be woken by her again.