Looking and seeing

It was a gray day. The evening had just begin to set in.  Indecisively, the sun leaped behind the clouds, only to emerge, and then again. I stared at the repulsive, slime filled puddle. Crouching by its edge I could see the hazy reflection of the clouds as they rushed  around the heavens in turmoil. I could see the slime on the surface and  the slime in the bottom. I could see my own face, reflected with an  expression of great pathos. And I could see the thousand winged specks that  had made the puddle their home.

I stared at the mosquitoes,  looked at them with repulsion and hatred and disgust. Who would have  thought such tiny creatures could inspire such feelings of animosity?  The unhappy clouds writhed in agony above and still I frowned at the  collection of tiny bodies, a static layer pulsating in the gentle  breeze. While I stared at the mass of ephemeral matter, thoughts of  vengeance colliding with thoughts of bitter resentment in my head, I  realized that as even as I looked at them they were staring at me. A  thousand minuscule faces, apprehensive. Waiting for a sudden move so  they could scamper to shelter. Waiting, waiting. For a fleeting moment, I felt tender. Compassion for those helpless, flightless little insects:  the power of their wings overcome by the need for self preservation.  Because the larvae had to be protected. A small hint of doubt.  And just when it felt as though the negativity had begun to melt in a   trickle of emotions, it all came rushing back, the seething, tumultuous mixture of unexplained ill-will.

I left those mosquitoes in the puddle when the rain began to soak me.

The giant drops did nothing to waver their unblinking gaze of reproach.

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