“The Little Things In Life” — digital collage AleXander Hirka (dustmite via ScienceImage, bacteria/virus via Pixabay/Maxpixel)

You Don’t Want To Know

Too Late Now: The Accident Called “You” Is Already In Progress

aleXander hirka
5 min readJan 20, 2022

(I wish to thank all the dedicated scientists who have provided the data fueling this brief glance beneath the thin vainglorious patina of being human.
The numbers vary somewhat from source to source but I would suggest they’re all close enough—especially if they make you squirm in discomfort.)

Ashes To Ashes, Dust To Dust Mites

Humans lose 200,000,000 dead epidermal skin cells every hour —approximately 50 pounds in a lifetime; the weight of a male bulldog.

I am working on a new meditation technique—in which, instead of a repeated mantra, or paying attention to your breathing, you will focus on listening to your skin sloughing off. Transendermis Meditation ™ © tuitorials will be on YouTube soon..

As we leave these dead skin flakes in our path—picture a neverending light snowfall—millions of dust mites flourish and delight in feeding on them.

House dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) aggregate. Photo credit: Giles San Martin, Wikipedia.

In the average home in Europe, Asia and the US gazillions of these little munching mini-monsters can be found.
Due to their need for moist air, they are most often found in bedding such as pillows and duvets. Many have condominiums in upholstered furniture, rent apartments in carpets, and some even own homes in high-rise curtains. Detectable dust mite poop has been found in the beds of about 84% of surveyed United States homes.

In an average 10-week life span, a house dust mite produces approximately 2,000 fecal particles and an even larger number of partially digested enzyme-covered dust particles. Their droppings are a known trigger for attacks amongst asthma sufferers.
Dust mites measure less than half a millimetre long and are barely visible to the human eye. If they were the size of snowflakes you’d need to have a shovel in your home.
A mated female house dust mite can live more than two months and lay 60 to 100 eggs in the last five weeks of her life.



aleXander hirka

Writer, visual artist, philosopher, autodidact, curmudgeon. More than half of what i do is make believe. https://alexanderhirka.nyc