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On Vox: What's eating me up?

bite me
spider bites?
I get giant welts when I get bit by a mosquito. Mine are not your normal welts, but fierce, red hot, half dollar-sized raised red mounds that often leave bruises or marks that last for weeks. And they itch like mad, enough that I'd been known to take a hair brush to them when I was younger and too stupid to know that such aggressive action would only make the bruising worse and cause the welt to grow.

In Minnesota, being "allergic" to the bite of a mosquito was something of an issue given that there's a fair amount of truth to the joke that the mosquito is the state bird.

Since moving to California, I don't think I've even seen a mosquito and I don't recall being bit by one. It's one of the many things I love about this place. So Wednesday morning I was rather surprised to notice that I had an itchy red bite on base of my thumb, of all the weird places to find a bite!

I can be rather oblivious to the origin of bumps, scratches, scrapes and other minor  injuries I find on my body until I notice them in the shower or decide to wear a skirt only to look down and see a row of purple-green bruises running along my shin. So it wasn't too weird for me to see this bite mark and think, hmmmm....I wonder when I got bit?

But then later in the day I notice that I've got another nasty welt on my leg, and one on my back, and one on my shoulder, and two on my arm, and another on my thigh. What the hell? How could I have not noticed being eaten alive my mosquitoes? Was it overnight? Was it when I was outside working to clean up the algae and other pre-historic ooze out of the fountain pond? And where the hell are mosquitoes doing in California anyway?! Hmmmmmm......

I've seen spiders here at the new place. Maybe it's a spider bite? Crawling across and nibbling me in my sleep? We don't have screens on all our windows yet, so maybe these are bugs that have decided to invite themselves over for a slumber party.

I really don't know what it is that's decided to feast on me, but I know that three days later, these bumps still hurt, and itch and don't look like they're getting any less angry. I'm not taking a hair brush to them, at least not yet.   

Originally posted on patty.vox.com