As promised, let me tell you a story about me, my apartment, and a very big bug.
You remember me mentioning that sometimes I catch my Southern showing? Well honey, this was one of those days (cue Patti LaBelle voice).
It’s no lie that we are familiar with bugs in the south. Mosquitoes and gnats are everywhere, especially in the summer, but the bugs in New York are from a different family. They are decidedly bigger, badder and of an entirely different breed. You haven’t truly lived in New York until you see your first cockroach.
The day was September 12th and it was an oddly warm fall evening for New York. Not quite hot enough for the A/C unit to be turned on, I cracked a window in my apartment to let in some fresh air. A traditional girls movie night, a friend and I set-up shop in my apartment surrounded by halal and an array of junk food from the nearby Duane Reade. The feature film of the night was “Age of Adaline.”
We were about an hour into the movie and Blake Lively had just pulled us into yet another graceful plot twist when the visitor arrived.
My vision was triggered by sudden movement on the wall to my right.
“Oh. My. Gahhh-shhh!” I whispered the statement in fear that the apartment’s latest inhabitant would hear me.
On the wall, about four feet above my bed, sat the biggest cockroach I had seen in my 20-something years of life. I don’t know how long it took me to get up from the couch but the next several minutes were a blur and slur or What do I do?!
Maybe the drama of the moment was enhanced by the darkness of the movie, but at that time the situation was life or death. My friend and I decided it would be best for me to use my Swiffer as a weapon… oh, and I would be the one to kill the bug.
My heart quickened as I climbed upon my bed to be in better reach of my opponent. What would I do if he fell to his death upon my soft yellow bed spread and favorite decorative throw pillows? I would for sure have to replace it all.
Usually when one gets closer to an issue their fears begin to dissipate as they realize the situation is no where near as big or dire as they thought. The opposite happened for me. Up close and personal, I saw that the roach was as big as I had imagined from afar – maybe even a centimeter bigger. At about two and a half inches in length, he was ready for a fight.
I became paralyzed with the exception of my legs which were now shaking due to nerves and the squishy surface of my bed below.
“You can do it! Kill it!” My friend chirped in the background. It wasn’t until the bug began to move that I too jumped into action.
With my Swiffer waving up into the air I would attempt to squish and swipe him to my right behind the bed. A brilliant plan except for the fact that as I swung in defense I closed my eyes, letting out what I imagine to be a full Serena Williams level grunt of power.
When I came back to my senses the bug was nowhere to be seen, but I was told that my plan had somewhat worked and he was now on the other side of my bedframe.
I walked around to the back of the bed with a heavy amount of dread and anticipation. The fight was not over. There the bug lay. Unmoving, unconscious, and surely not dead. I would have to finish him off.
Oh my gahsh!
Oh my gahsh!
Oh my gahsh!
The southern accent deep within me reared its head and the verbal attack was on. Sometime between my ill wishes and my friend’s kind encouragement I managed to complete the task. With pink rubber gloves and a wad of paper towels, I picked up the victim and threw him into the trash can. This must be what a near death experience feels like.
The next morning I called my super, and the exterminator arrived two days later. A pest control company visits my building once a month. They are perhaps my favorite people in New York.
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