Saturday, June 30, 2012

Storms and roaches.

We have had TWO major storms in the last week that have knocked out my power, knocked over countless trees, BENT street signs, and left me in a state of Blanche Dubois level rattled nerves.

Last night when the second storm came through and knocked the power out within a second of landing, I seriously wanted to run out onto the street, and scream at the heavens, "WHAT IS HAPPENING!??"

Luckily I didn't do this or I probably would have been hit in the head with a tree limb.

But here's the thing. It's bad enough to lose power and AC when it's 103 freaking degrees outside. But it is another nightmare entirely to lose power when you're in the middle of a roach infestation, which I am. That's partly why I haven't written in nearly two weeks, because almost all of my free time has been spent slaying roaches.

This is just the latest in the string of fun surprises I've encountered in my tenement apartment building. In addition to the violent neighbors, the coke head neighbors (they start partying at 8am, on Thursdays, I can think of no other explanation), the constantly arguing neighbors, the constantly smoking neighbors, and the general dilapidation of my building, I came home from Malawi to discover it's also a roach vacation destination. Every roach in a 5 mile vicinity apparently summers here. They've brought station wagons full of beach chairs and coolers. They've brought their extended families. Each one has settled in with a good book and a glass of iced tea.

I came home to find them all over my kitchen and bathroom. And after screaming and running around in circles for a while, I decided to go into extermination mode. I've fogged. I've put out traps. I've sprayed enough insecticide to expose myself to 17 different kinds of cancer.

And for brief beautiful moments I'll think I've done it and they're all gone. I'll go hours without seeing one. But then I reach for my salt and one comes scurrying out, or open my trash can and see three crawling around, or cook something on the stove and see them all come creeping out from their hiding places, sniffing at the food, and I realize this is a losing battle. I can only keep them at bay, because I live surrounded by people who are happy to live in filth. It doesn't matter how clean my apartment is, how diligently I avoid leaving any food out or how frequently I take out my trash. For every roach I kill, ten more from my next door neighbor's apartment saunter over.

And this was my state last night at 11pm when the power suddenly went off. Let me tell you. There is nothing more terrifying than suddenly being plunged in the dark when you have a roach problem. Roaches are vampires. They gather strength from the dark. They get fearless and strut across the floor and along walls. I felt like I was in a horror movie, faced with an apartment full of vengeful roaches who are angry at that giant who keeps shrieking and spraying them with chemicals or smushing their loved ones with paper towels.

This is not the kind of relaxing summer evening I had envisioned. And seriously mother nature? These storms need to stop. I don't know what Richmond did to deserve such frequent beatings. I don't know if this is global warming or the coming of the apocalypse or if God just really, really hates us and our stupid trees.

But enough. No more wind, no more rain, and for God's sake no more power outages. Because if the roaches don't do me in then Richmond's drivers (who still, STILL, do not understand the four way stop situation at an out power light) certainly will.

1 comment:

kevin coper said...

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