The Ultimate New York Stigma

5 Dec


When I tell non-New Yorkers that I live here, they almost always say something like, “Oh man, I’m so jealous. It must be the best!” While I do feel fortunate to live here, and my life tends to exist on the edge of awesome and amazing. There are drawbacks. Getting elbowed in the gut on your morning commute. Paying $3 for a shitty cup of coffee. Waving goodbye to about 25% of your paycheck. But today tops it.

I have motherfucking bed bugs. Pardon my language, but this has been one of the worst New York days I’ve ever had. All because of motherfucking bed bugs.

Last Saturday, I was getting ready to go to Brooklyn to meet up with friends for indoor bocce ball, as I grabbed my phone off my nightstand, I saw something on my bed. I grabbed it and sprinted into my living room to confirm my fears with my roommate. A bedbug. I panicked for a moment, before killing it and flushing it down the toilet. Maybe it was a stray?

This morning I woke up and quickly noticed blood smears on my pillow (a sign that they’ve fed and drooled as they walked away. I looked in the mirror to see to my horror, that I had two bites on my neck and one on my forehead, which means that a bed bug was ON. MY. FACE. I ripped apart my bedding and mattress, searching for any signs of where they were. Nothing. I freaked out and demanded my landlord send an exterminator to take care of the issue ASAP.

“Well, they’re really expensive,” she told me.
“Yeah, but it’s kind of the law that you need to take care of this.”
“I’ll check the lease and the law.”
“Housing and Maintenance Code Subchapter 2, Article 4. You have 30 days to take care of this.”
“It’s just really expensive, and I’d really appreciate it if you chipped in.”
“No way, you are legally obligated to take care of this.”
“Well, you are morally obligated to chip in.”
“You just raised my rent. I always pay it on time. This isn’t my fault! I’m not morally obligated to do shit.”

So my apartment is getting bombed tomorrow. I just spent the last 7 hours bagging everything in my room. cleaning every inch, boxing everything I own, moving all furniture to the center of the room. I’m exhausted, and when I get home tomorrow after working, I won’t have access to any of my things, or bedding, or pillows. I have to wash ALL of it. The good news is that in my extensive cleaning, I didn’t find any signs of infestation, so it really must not be that bad, and we’re nipping it in the bud early. Bad news? A tiny blood-sucking insect kicked my ass today.



3 Responses to “The Ultimate New York Stigma”

  1. queerfox December 5, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

    Oh, so nasty! According to my parents, who did extensive research about bed bugs due to their being an issue in Hawaii too, the bombing won’t be enough to get rid of them, because they hide inside the mattress and will have enough oxygen to survive. But it’ll buy you time while you wash EVERYTHING, and you need to find a bed-bug proof mattress cover (if you can’t afford a new mattress) and bed-bug proof pillows or pillow covers. Also, vacuum every crack and crevice, all the furniture and cushions, everything. Good luck!

    • Chrissy December 6, 2012 at 4:00 am #

      Thanks Kerry! I was smart enough when I moved in a year ago to have bought a mattress protector and bug-proof pillows. So I at least have that going for me. They’re probably living in my headboard or in my walls. It’s a nightmare.

      • queerfox December 6, 2012 at 10:17 am #

        That’s great that they won’t be in the mattress at least! It’s still awful, but on the bright side, they’ll only be in places where you can actually eradicate them. Good luck again, and I hope the bug bombing works!

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