I had an odd experience yesterdayday. With the general triumph of life over death and barren coldness in the Northern hemisphere, there are suddenly insects everywhere, and I happened to look down and find a small green aphid walking across my forearm. I found myself endeared to it by the obvious struggle it was having to navigate the hairs there.
Aphids, as readers may or may not be aware, have tiny sucking mouthparts that pierce the outermost layers of green plants and let the sugary liquid inside flow out into the aphid’s body to be digested. And then I had the thought: could it poke that little mouthpart through my epidermis and drain out a tiny part of my blood?
The odd bit was that I suddenly realised that I partly wanted it to. I had an urge to be eaten and fed off by this little creature.
My next thought was that of course that’s possible, that’s exactly what fleas, lice, mosquitoes etc do. Why didn’t I want to get fleabitten?
There are, I think, two answers. One is that I don’t want horrible little itchy bite marks that get red and displeasurable (I also don’t want malaria or somesuch). The other answer though is about control.