This morning, I awoke to find that a cockroach had crawled out of our sheets and was sitting on the pillow next to me, like Gregor Samsa taking a nap. For a minute, I thought that Adam had had an existential crisis during the night. Then I remembered that he’d left before dawn for a thrilling round of exams.
I had my usual mature, considered response. I spent about fifteen minutes cursing, an hour cleaning, and then an untold amount of time searching the internet for exterminators. Then I took all of our linens, including our giant quilt, to the cleaners.
Laundry lady: “This is really big comforter.”
Me: “I know.”
Laundry lady: “It’ll be $20.”
Me: “Sounds excellent. How much to wash it twice?”
For those of you who don’t live in New York, we have a social contract with the roaches. As long as they stay under the refrigerator as God intended, they get to stay. But a few weeks ago, we found one in our dressing room and there have been one or two loitering around the garbage can after the lights come on. And now Gregor, in our bed.
It will not stand, I tell you. It will get its tiny legs snapped off. I will fill this house full of poisons if I have to, Gregor. Don’t test me. I’m a desperate and nervous woman.