i'm a white writer. in new york. original, no? i've been blogging since october 2002. this blog picks up in october 2008, when i moved from DC to NY...(and then I moved to Maine in 2012)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stuck between a roach and a hard place.

Dozens. Still. Dozens. We're down to now about only 13 in the sink at any given time, from an all-time high of 24.

I do not prepare food in the house and I re-wash silverware before I use it. (I do not use glasses or dishes.)

The roommate is still gone. I'm feeding her cat, whose food is in a bag on the kitchen floor. Each time I go to feed the cat, dozens of roaches pile out of the folds of the bag.

It's awesome.

My roommate doesn't think it's so bad. She said, "It used to be there were roaches on the ceiling, so this is nothing."

You might recall that the day I scrubbed the crusty roach feces and corpses off the counter she was deeply shaken. She was thinking I was judging her. You'd think someone would be glad to have a roommate who cleans. And I wasn't making any comments about how gross it was, I was just cheerily cleaning. Not frantically, not passive-aggressively, not in front of her, not to shame her, just happy to do my part to clean. For this I was labeled aggressive, but when asked for details she could not say how I was aggressive. She did say she wants me to feel comfortable here, to which I replied I did not feel comfortable.

Now, I know that everyone has a way they were raised, everyone has a different tolerance for how bad the trash or recycling gets before taking them out, how often to vacuum and dust, how often (if ever) you clean the tub. And I respect that to have someone move in and want to clean can feel invasive, even if it's a good thing.

So now I am in a position where it would be against my nature to go ahead and clean when I know that it is something that will deeply upset my roommate. Like she was all excited that I would be contributing nice silverware to the household, but I can't bring myself to intermingle mine into the drawer that has several dead roaches in it. Problem is, I don't feel I can do what I want, which is to remove everything from the drawer, clean it, and put it all back because it would upset my roommate so much.

I can't live like this.

In an attempt to do something that I hope she doesn't notice, I pulled her cat food and cat dishes out and scrubbed the kitchen floor, sending about a dozen or so tiny roaches scurrying under the floor shelving. That's when I saw that there were about a dozen dead roaches on one of MY pristine shelves of canned goods and very clean dishes and tupperware.

Only the roaches weren't dead.

So I got the spray out. (We have two cats, so I've been avoiding this.)

I sprayed into the crevice beneath the shelving on the floor. Dozens more came scuttering out, gasping for air. Big ones. So I'm on the floor cleaning all this up. And I start tossing my now-dirty dishes, plasticware, and knives into the sink.

And I start to cry.

This is not okay.

So if you come to visit, stay out of the kitchen. We'll be eating out, or eating what I can keep in the house: apples, granola bars, yogurt, and cottage cheese. I have not seen the roaches anywhere else in the house and I am careful to not eat in my room or my office.

She's having a Christmas dinner party here in a few weeks and said I could come if I want because I live here.

Despite her oh-so-enthusiastic invitation, I think I'll pass.

Maybe I'll lose weight from all this.


Anonymous said...

I am happy to dine out while I'm with you. While you're visiting us, you should feel free to clean as much as you like (my tub included). Have you signed a lease?

derora noo said...

There's a yummy pizza place up the hill where I get a $2 slice a few times a week. We'll go there. And there's a grocerette. Often my meals are a bag of carrots and a pound of hummus.

I have not signed a lease. I signed a "sublease" saying I'd give two months' notice. My last month of rent is paid for, and I have a $950 deposit I paid to my predecessor, and I would be reimbursed by my successor. So I feel like I need to vacate by April-ish so my replacement could have a full year.