I start my Librarian job on Monday. I bought cute new dresses for said job. I get my car back soon and can stop driving my dad’s monster truck. I got to hang out with Gail, Niki, and Malik this week. Things have been pretty great in many ways. In another way, though, it’s been a rough couple of weeks…
I keep a very clean living space and live in a fairly nice apartment complex, in the sense that they’re well-kept and the management stays on top of things. Both of those facts are important to remember when I mention the roach problem that sprouted up and has been aggressively treated over the last 30 days. Essentially, the lady downstairs and to the left shouldn’t be living alone and her home care stopped coming, because she told them to fuck off. Management is on top of it and now she has an aide coming several times a week, along with a housekeeper. She should still be evicted in my opinion, because it’s not safe for her, but no one wants to make that call. Whatev, so long as the bugs are eradicated. They’ve been spraying weekly, along with laying poisons and baits.
Another important thing to remember, however, is that I am an obsessive person, often to an unhealthy extent. I saw maybe 5-10 bugs in a week long period, if not longer… and freaked the fuck out.
After spraying a cabinet of clean dishes with Raid, I texted Niki in a panic. We’d actually just had one of our crochet days. I collect people with weird jobs, you see, and Niki used to be an Orkin man. I asked if she’d come spray and she made some suggestions for purchases and promised to be over the next day. I spent twenty dollars on bug supplies for my two bedroom apartment. I half-ass nothing. The next morning, I saw and immediately killed a bug in the bathroom, burst into tears, and refused to open any more cabinets without being poised to attack.
Clearing and cleaning the cabinets was a stressful venture. I’m pretty sure I threw out at least $10 worth of food that was absolutely fine, convinced it was contaminated, because it had once been opened, even though it was now sealed. I didn’t see any more bugs before Niki showed. She spent about 45 minutes going through my apartment and spraying everything and strategically placing baits and traps.
Me: “I know I already asked, but how long until they’re completely gone? A month tops?”
Me: “So… um… I know I’m being a pussy, but could you maybe go through my dresser and see if you find any bugs?”
I have awesome friends, because she not only answered my repeated questions about how long it would take, but went through my unfolded laundry as well while I refused to be in the same room, because the thought of bugs was severely stressing me out. I had even spent the morning hiding in my bedroom looking at new apartments on Craigslist.
I cannot afford to move! Any place I can afford is going to have a much bigger roach problem!!!
Even the best of friends come with a catch, though. With Gaily, it’s the government paranoia and demands that I stop singing about killing the president to freak her out because they might be listening.
With Malik, it’s the on-the-wagon/off-the-wagon wavering. One month “it’s just a little meth” and the next he’s clean and “not gay anymore.”
With Niki, it’s that she was a friggin’ Orkin man. Do you know what kind of stomach it takes to be the Orkin man? Answer: the kind of stomach that doesn’t think twice about sharing horror stories about being the Orkin man. So, after Niki would assure me that the bugs would be gone in a month, she’d say things like…
Niki: “They eat everything. I once knew a woman who’d had her eyebrows eaten.”
Me: ::in horror:: “How is that even possible?!?!”
Niki: “There were so many roaches in her house that she had to just have been crawled on all night long.”
Me: “So, they’ll be gone in a month, right?”
Niki: “Now, if you ever get bed bugs, then move immediately.”
Me: “Wait. Do I have bed bugs?!?!”
Niki: “I doubt it, but I can check.”
Niki: “…then the trailer next door caught fire and they all ran over to hers.”
So, while my wonderful crochet-buddy-bug-warrior worked to eradicate the problem, she’s also the one who gave me the suggestion to Google image search “roach infestation.” Yeah. Don’t do that. I don’t feel so bad about asking over and over and over again about the bugs, since these stories were told as Niki shook out my clean clothes.
Fortunately, Niki’s efforts and the fact that my downstairs neighbor has stopped stirring things up during her move, have helped immensely. The only bugs I’ve really seen are dead ones and I’m hoping one of these nights I can even sleep again. Perhaps, some day soon, I’ll take all of the raw pasta out of my fridge and cook in my kitchen again. The apartment management is still spraying in addition to Niki’s much more impressive efforts. There’s so much poison in this place, I’m surprised I’m still living. On that note…
While the problem has improved exponentially, I did see one bug last night before I went to bed. I’m pretty sure it was an ant, but I promptly sprayed a quarter can of Raid in the room and exhaustedly went back to bed. Today, I got to have the best chat with Poison Control.
Me: “Hi. Um… I have a weird question. It’s not really an emergency or anything, but last night I was spraying Raid in my bedroom and was half asleep, so I didn’t think about washing my hands before I went to bed.”
Me: “Well, um… I suck my thumb and didn’t realize I still had Raid on my hands until my mouth started to burn and then go numb. I got up and washed my hands and rinsed my mouth, but now there are sores in it.”
This was followed with a beat of silence, in which I can only assume the Poison Control specialist thought…
Yeah… sucking on pesticides will do that.
When he spoke, he was perfectly polite and basically told me that it wasn’t surprising that my mouth is shredded, but I’m not gonna die. He told me gargling with salt water couldn’t hurt. In the meantime, I suppose I should look on the bright side: the bugs I’m seeing are dead and I’m not… yet.