It is my second night in Haiti, and I’m living on the edge. Call me crazy, but this time I’ve finally decided to go without the Doxycycline– the friendly pill that took me through the mean streets of Sao Tome, an earthquake-ravaged Hispaniola and back home safely again.
This time, though, I’m only in Haiti for two weeks, and for reasons that can only really amount to laziness, I’ve decided not to get my Doxy fix (and am now very much enjoying my time without intense chest pain, directly related to having “kicked the habit”).
Not that I’m living too much on the edge, though. I’m still sleeping at night while wrapped underneath a malaria-preventive device – the mosquito net. So I’m not really that crazy, though let me tell you, I would choose the net over Doxy any day of the week.
I actually really, really like mosquito nets. Besides the obvious plus that they keep those pesky insects from ruining my night, and perhaps in spite of their often curiously dusty smell, I really love how I feel underneath them. My mosquito net is like my giant security blanket. It’s my little world for me to curl up into when I’m away from home. I know it’s quite see-through but it still feels protective, if not a tiny bit hidden, like a shield that I activate around me to keep me from harm.
My mosquito net is like the tent bed that I always wanted when I was little, except there are no Disney princesses and no zippers, either. It’s a tent bed for adults (though technically it’s for kids, too) and at night when we have electricity I blow a fan through its mesh and am suddenly transported to a safe, breezy cabana. It’s poetic, perhaps too poetic, but it’s true.
It’s only recently that I learned that other people are not necessarily such big fans of mosquito netting as I am. They don’t like how it can press up against their skin, or how if they accidentally leave a gap anywhere then their luck runs out. I often spread books around the floor of my mosquito net and stretch it to its full length. That way my net is more like a cave than like drapes of fabric that gather over me and feel suffocating. Inside my mosquito net, it is big and wide. And there are no holes. At least none that I know of.
I know there must be other mosquito net lovers out there. Ladies, if you love your mosquito net, give me a yeah!