Waking up to find unwanted guests in my bed is fortunately not a situation to which I am accustomed. A couple of mornings ago however, I found myself face to face with a nasty stranger enjoying the space on my comforter between me and my girlfriend. Before you start jumping to conclusions, let's rewind a little bit...
A little over three weeks ago, I moved into a new apartment in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn. It's a huge one bedroom railroad that I share with my sassy black cat Saffy. I have an office, a music room, a living room, and a HUGE bedroom. I pay a lot for it, but it's kind of perfect, and did I mention that it's only nine houses down from my girlfriend's place? By the way, my girlfriend is allergic to cats. Spending more than fifteen minutes in a room with Miss Saffy is likely to send her into an asthmatic fit. My former living situation involved a roommate who had two cats herself, so hanging out at my apartment was not an option. Luckily my new place is big enough for Saffy to have her own space in the rear two rooms of the apartment, so the majority of the living space is allergen-free. It's been awesome to be able to hang out at my apartment without worrying about a potential trip to the emergency room. Basically, the past three weeks have been really amazing. Ok, back to the other morning...
So, it's Friday morning and my girlfriend wakes up before me. I open my eyes and she's standing next to the bed examining her arm. "I have this weird welt on my arm." I say "huh" and she gets back into bed and shows it to me. Then, our guest makes itself known. I look down on the comforter and there he is. Mr. Bed Bug.
OK, those of you not living in Brooklyn or the third world probably aren't familiar with bed bugs. Until I moved to the city, all that I knew about them was that my mom encountered them in a dank motel in Moscow in the '70's. I started hearing about them shortly after I moved to Brooklyn. Horror stories, told mostly second-hand about infestations in cheap housing in parts of Brooklyn. "Don't move into the McKibben dorms. DO NOT MOVE THERE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD." I learned that bed bugs basically ruin your life. That they can pop-up anywhere, even expensive luxury housing in Manhattan. That they are near impossible to get rid of. That you have to throw away all of your furniture and clothing. That they can hitch rides on your shoelaces and proliferate wherever you travel with them. So yeah, you can imagine my horror when I find this beady blood-engorged beast in my perfect cozy little bed. My girlfriend was surprisingly calm and tried reassuring me by saying that it was only one bed bug and maybe it was just a rogue that escaped extermination and since we killed it everything would be okay. I called my landlord's office and told them that I found what appeared to be a bed bug in my bed and that I had it in a bottle and would very much appreciate a visit from the bug killer people ASAP. He was totally as thrilled as I was about the situation and sent someone out that afternoon to collect "the sample" to take to the exterminator. I managed to make it through the day at work without letting it completely takeover my thoughts. Oh my god, am I still blogging? This is getting long. FAST FORWARD --->>>
Saturday morning I find a letter slipped underneath my door addressed in pink ink to "Our New Neighbors in Apt. 5". I immediately thought, "Oh shit, my new neighbors are pissed that I'm playing guitar in the apartment and they're writing me some passive-agressive letter in stupid pink ink and slipping under the door to make me feel like an asshole." I was wrong, but the actual content of the letter was much worse. To summarize, this is what I took away from the letter:
DEAR NEW NEIGHBOR,
WE LIVE ACROSS THE HALL FROM YOU. APPARENTLY WE HAVE BED BUGS. THEY ARE EATING OUR FLESH. WE HEAR YOU MIGHT HAVE THEM TOO? THAT SUCKS. COME TALK?*
Don't cry for me yet. The exterminator is coming tomorrow morning. To date, I've only been visited by that one initial little guest, so I'm optimistic. Send me good thoughts please.
*I may or may not have completely made up these sentences, but you get the gist.