Just saw my first cockroach since I’ve been back.
I knew it would happen eventually. Was hoping that since the summer’s over, I’d sneak by without seeing any. But there I was, drinking my latte in my favorite little coffee shop, and there he went, one of those little brown motherfuckers, running across the table toward my laptop.
My waitress was real apologetic (but charged me for my latte anyway, WTF), and I was all “no worries, it’s New York, can’t avoid it, haha, I’ll just move over to this table that’s farther away from the trashcan,” but inside my brain I was like “WHYYYYYYY AM I NOT IN ITALY RIGHT NOW!?”
While I was traveling, I saw exactly two bugs. I’m serious. In six weeks, two bugs*.
* I’m not counting mosquitos, which I prefer to think of as itty bitty Itch Fairies.
One looked like this:
And the other looked like this:
These are the kind of bugs I’m okay with. They’re cute and slow and don’t have nasty long antennae that wiggle around looking for your nearest orifice. These sweet little colorful bugs probably have a personality, and compassion, and a brain. (Did you know that cockroaches DON’T HAVE A BRAIN!?) These bugs, I can handle. New York City cockroaches?
I mean, over the years, I have embraced the grossness of my city.
But I have never come to terms with its cockroaches. I can’t step on one (the crunch, omg) or pick up a dead one with a paper towel (it will come back alive and crawl up my arm, I know it), and if I see one in my house, I cannot sleep until I hunt it down and spray the shit out of it. Y’all, I can barely look at a picture of one. It’s that serious. While googling that article about them not having a brain I dry heaved like fifteen times. I’m not even being dramatic, I actually did.
This is not an irrational fear, either.
A few months ago, I was snoozing on my awesome chair…
…and I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head just a little and saw a massive water bug crawling toward me on the pillow, 4 fucking inches from my face.
WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF I HADN’T LOOKED TO MY LEFT AT THAT MOMENT!?
Here’s the thing. I live in maybe the nicest house I’ve ever seen, in a real fancy neighborhood in Manhattan*.
* I’m basically the maid, don’t be impressed by this.
And as the maid, I can tell you, this house is pretty clean. There should not be evil little crawly things here. But it doesn’t matter what you do or where you live or how clean your house is. Cuz they’re there, despite whatever spray or traps or poisons you fill your house with. They are your roommates, like it or not.
ALSO THEIR BLOOD IS FUCKING WHITE. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK.
I’m suddenly at a loss for why I live in this noisy, dirty, vermin-infested city. I love my job, yes. And my friends are awesome, absolutely. But goddamnit, I can’t sit in a chair or leave my feet on the floor or lay my bag down for any length of time without fear that one or more nasty-little-nerves-instead-of-brains-trash-eating-fuckers will crawl across my foot or burrow into the side pocket of my backpack and give birth to thousands of disgusting little babies.
New York! Redeem yourself! I need something awesome to happen today to reset the balance. Give me a good old-fashioned John Stewart sighting – something! I’m begging! Meantime, I’ll be waiting here, dreaming about the time I traveled to a place with no bugs, and hopping from one foot to the other…