Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Hamster Whisperer Part 1: The Catalyst

When I was around seven years old, I experienced my first deep connection with a non-human creature. It was a mosquito, quite a large one; she’d found her way into my bedroom one hot summer night as I lay reading an Archie comic, and at first, she was not welcome. Being that I was (and still am) afraid of most insects, no matter how benign some may be, I nervously kept one eye on my comic, the other on that huge, scary mosquito. Soon, I knew, that mosquito would be nothing more than a tiny red dot on my wall -- just had to wait until she flew close enough for me to get her. For the better part of an hour, she remained safely on my ceiling, bouncing along the trim in a crazy blood-frenzy, whining, screaming for sustenance, for my blood. She grew more desperate with each passing minute, her whines progressing into am almost mournful crescendo, as if she were shrieking “My babies! Must feed babies! Baaaaaabiiiiiieeeeeesssss!”

Well. She was creeping me out in the worst way, and I just couldn’t take it any more. So I stood on my bed and whacked at her with my Archie comic, but I was too short to hit my mark. Frustrated, I lay back on my pillow and resumed reading, my eye ever watchful, my heart pounding. Then, as if by some direct order from on high, the mosquito silently drifted down along my wall and settled beside me, just inches away. I watched her watching me, and, for the first time in my short life, I became fascinated with an insect -- truly fascinated. I observed her triangular head and odd little proboscis, her delicate legs, the angle at which they were bent. She seemed to be communing with me, her head tilted up as if questioning my irrational fear of her...The more I observed, the stronger my feelings, till I became aware -- very aware. It was like I was entering her soul, realizing her place , her reasons for living and her right to be here, same as me.

I was such a little Buddhist.

But the mosquito decided to take wing once again, squealed about my head in an increasingly angry "gonna gitcha" war dance, and really, that was the straw that broke the Buddhist's zen.

I waited until she settled once again, then slammed her against the wall with my open palm.

Where once this creature flitted and flew, whined and shrieked, full of life and purpose, she was now nothing more than a bloody smudge on Donny Osmond's smiling face.

I mourned her death for about ten minutes, then grabbed a pen and began to write. I had to write, was compelled, as if by some outside force, to write. My first poem was created that night, a poem about death and the sea and tiny insect angels and whatnot. I'm sure it was lovely.

Next week's installment of The Hamster Whisperer will explore my uncanny connection to my daughter's preternaturally intelligent hamster.


At 2:24 PM, Blogger ms ralph said...

To truly understand something and then to kill it, I am hoping that this story about the hamster doesn't end in death. ;)

Please don't hurt the hamster!

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Hippo said...

Dear Miss Hamstah gal,

Your picture gives me the creeps, I like it, but it is creepy. I accidentally recorded a Sundance film titled "Party Monster" apparently based on a book with the title "Disco Bloodbath." This movie repulsed me, it was creepy. It was about creepy "Club Kids." Do you know any club kids?

Dr. H.O. Potamus

At 2:48 PM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Dear Ms. Ralph, I would never, ever hurt a hamster. Might feel like biting one, but would never allow myself the pleasure.

Dr. Hippo, Party Monster was an atrocious film, one that caused me to vomit copious amounts of cheap beer into my own lap. Mac truly embarrassed himself with that dog.

And no, I didn't know the Kids. I'm much cooler than that (as you can see in my creepy picture). They would have hated me for my natural creepy beauty.

At 4:01 PM, Blogger J. Stephen Reid said...

Ms. Lori,

Every mosquito I see from now on will be shrieking "My babiiiiieeeeeess".

I want to thank you for that.

At 2:10 AM, Anonymous T.L. Hines said...

Lori - If you ever sell the film rights to The Hamster Whisperer, can I play Robert Redford's role?

At 2:22 AM, Blogger Michele said...

There is a scene in A Bug's Life where the mosquito says "Bartender. Bloody Mary, O-positive." YOU were happy hour and you did not let the animated mosquito have his beverage of choice....he was animated, yes? I like ot think of him that way.

At 10:42 PM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

No way, Tony -- when I think of T.L. Hines, I think hamster, pure and simple. You'd bring a certain quiet dignity to the character, for sure. Sleep on it, and we'll do lunch soon, babe.

Michele, I told you to lay off the 'shrooms, didn't I? Didn't I JUST get done e-mailing you my concerns about this destructive habit and how it affects our relationship? GOD!


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