October 5, 2010

Coming in From the Cold

I'm really glad that I caught a beautiful sunrise this morning after spending a night plagued with bad dreams and sudden awakenings.

Last night during my usual phone call with Rob, I got out of bed (the light was still off) and walked over to get some papers out of my school bag. I was all excited about a couple of quotes from Charles Ives I'd found in the readings for my Art Song class and wanted to relate them to Rob over the phone. When I approached my bag I saw a big black thing skittering across the slightly-less-black floor and wailed "Oh NOOOO!" I hurried over to turn on the light and told Rob to hold on...said I had to put the phone down for a minute (I can only imagine what he was thinking at this point). I turned on the light and sure enough, (have you guessed the source of my emergency?) a COCKROACH!!!

I've always heard that if you see one there are bound to be a bunch more hiding out somewhere close by. When I got a good look at the thing--about an inch long, shiny, leggy, and cowering up against the strap of my bag--my heart hit the floor with a thud. Up to last night I had been thrilled that my aptartment building seemed to be pretty bug free and had figured that as long as I kept things at least moderately tidy I wouldn't have much to worry about. Well, I guess those days are over.

I was a total wimp about the whole thing too. I went and got the phone again and whined to Rob, "Eeeeewwww! it's so creepy! What do I do?! This is HORRIBLE!" Rob of course advised me to squish it with a shoe--something he'd had to do a time or two while living in Pasadena. "But it's so big!" I whined back, "It's going to squish all over everything!"
"Yeah, probably will." My ever-supportive boyfriend replied.
"I need you here to do it for me!" I said back.
I hemmed and hawed and eeeewwwed a few more times, but finally got up some nerve and swatted the poor creepy thing with a shoe. Sure enough: quite a disgusting mess...which I then whined and eeeewwwwed about some more.

For the rest of the phone call (and the night) the only thing I could think about was that bug and the further creepiness it could be foreshadowing. It didn't help that after I turned the light off again, the radiator started coming on in the corner for the first time since my arrival. My ears, still unaccustomed to its hissy whine, interpreted the sound at first as an army of angry roaches collecting in the walls and preparing to lay siege on my little one-room dwelling after watching the brutal and heartless murder of their unlucky comrade.

All night my dreams were filled with hoards of creepy crawlies. I woke up several times at the slightest creak or imagined skitter believing I'd turn on the light and see a mass of little black bodies running all over the floor.

And it didn't help that when I eventually woke up to get ready for the day, I went into my bathroom, turned on the light, and found this lovely little thing sidled up next to my toothbrush...

I guess now that some real cold weather has begun to arrive (nighttime temperatures have fallen into the 30s), critters of all shapes and sizes are finding ways to come indoors. I told Rob, "Maybe I should catch one and keep it as a pet...like my black widows...maybe then I wouldn't be so indiscriminately bothered by them." I dunno...maybe...maybe not (shudder!).


  1. I don't even need a real spider to become afraid, grossed out and in general panicked. When I was small, my big sister, (I wonder who that could be?) used to take anything small and black, usually thread, pinch it between her fingers and push it into my face, saying: a bug, a bug! I would scream and cower while she laughed. To this day, all it takes is a small piece of thread and I am in a state of shock. Real creepy-crawlies take on nightmarish proportions. And now, as Steve is farming, he frequently comes into the house literally crawling with life. It makes life interesting.
    Thanks for your blog, Kelly. I have enjoyed your insights. I especially enjoyed 'sitting in' on the trombone lesson. It made me wish it were me!