My New Roommate

I have a new roommate. Or at least I did.

Now, I know I’m self-selecting here about NYC and vermin, but I got up to go to the loo this morning and there was a roach the size of a dinosaur right there next to the potty. I should have been ok with it, I went to grad school here, but I screamed like a teenage girl in a horror film and ran to hide in my bedroom. This is why people in NYC have dogs I whisper-yelled to myself. Dogs are required. They don’t have to be big dogs, just bigger than a rat or a roach–which is this case would be a labrador.

Just for the record, I try very hard not to live in squalor, but I’d been away for 10 days, and with it being winter here, it sort of makes sense that nefarious creatures of this kind might consider my empty apartment their very own AirB&B, but I was not prepared. No way. This guy was big.

Frantic, I scanned around the house for a heavy or hurl-able object to kill the uninvited guest. Shoes, no. I like them all too much. Books, not an option. I like them too much as well. Then, I remembered seeing a stack of telephone books on the front steps of my building. I am seriously convinced that this is why god invented telephone books–to kill bugs without having to get too close. I grabbed the first cashmere sweater I could find. Forget pants, I needed a phone book with 8 million numbers.

Standing in the bathroom doorway with the telephonic equivalent of the OED, I realized the little asshole had crawled into a tiny space between the sink and the commode–one that was too small for a Manhattan telephone tome. What to do?? I’d heard somewhere that you shouldn’t kill roaches like this anyway as it releases a kajillion eggs directly to in your house. Oof. Then, it came to me… (because I was super tired from flying everywhere)

Chemicals. I love chemicals on all fronts. Especially, when it came to that cleanse Marvin put me on last August. Bloof. Chemicals are awesome.

So I formulated my plan. I would go to the 24-hour market on the corner, the one with the bi-polar Puerto Rican lady where the prices change all the time. They must have something along those lines. I can’t be the only one in the hood to deal with this. But first… If I was going to wage chemical warfare on a giant douche bag cockroach, I needed coffee.

Now, NYC is supposed to be the city that never sleeps, but our Starbucks doesn’t open until 5:30 AM. It was 5:29… I bundled up and since I couldn’t get into my bathroom, I rifled through my purse for some Listerine pocket packs. Morning breath is like Chernobyl and I had to make sure the baristas would let me in. As I sat in Starbucks gulping my Venti blonde, a Christmas song came on… “It’s a Marshmallow World” by Darlene Love. (  It is NOT Darlene. It is so not a “whip cream day”.

Coffee finished, I made my way across the street to the 24 hour bi-polar market. I bought everything they had.


When the woman at the register paused at my selections, I quickly explained that I did not live in squalor, but had merely been away for 10 days and that a roach had moved in. What? It’s happens, no?

Once home, I dug through my closet for a bandanna to use as a makeshift gas mask. No luck. I ended up wearing an old green Hermes scarf I never liked.

Bomb can in hand, I staged a full frontal assault. I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed, but the mothertrucker would NOT die. He was like a zombie apocalypse cockroach. A half a can later, my bathroom was a nuclear wasteland, but he was dead. I leaned against the kitchen counter, pulled down the hermes and calmed myself. Then, it suddenly occurred to me: what to do about the corpse removal? Somehow this seemed even worse. I couldn’t bear the thought of a paper towel. Roaches have squishy juice it them. I don’t yet own a broom to sweep him out the door. (I’ve been slow to nest) Then, it came to me: I would use the vacuum. I love my vacuum. I checked the body size relative to the hose… In less than a second, he was gone.

Now, even though it’s over, I’m still traumatized. It’s vermin PTSD. When I dropped my reading glasses just a half hour ago, they skittered across the floor and I yelped like a fucking Chihuahua. (Again, need dog). It’s bad. I think I’m going to have to sleep with the lights on tonight. What’s also very clear to me is that I’m going to need a new roommate. He doesn’t have to be an NFL linebacker or tight end, he just needs to be really super brave when it comes to pests. I’m posting an ad on Craigslist.


PS – for those of you who know Sophie–please do not relay this tale your kids (who are her friends). I don’t want her to be afraid to come home for Christmas.

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