Monday, October 1, 2007

The Apartment Saga: Stella

Continued from previous post

After several silent and suspenseful seconds of intense study, Michael, with eyes cast downward looking grimly at our Fred, said softly after a quick nod:

"Dis is de bug."

Wonderful. Just wonderful. Bed bugs in our apartment the THIRD WEEK of living in Manhattan. I thought they had exterminated for those? Obviously not. No, see, what they did was SAY they would exterminate, and then they told us everything was fine, and it wasn't fine. And I was itching all over. It's amazing how sensitive your skin becomes when you imagine bugs crawling all over your body in the middle of night, sucking your blood, and then going to hide away and lay eggs.


So, thankfully, our management company agreed to put us up in a hotel that night, while Jamaican man Michael officially exterminated. I was surprised that they agreed. If they wouldn't have agreed, we would have high tailed it out of this place. And at the time we had plans to do that very thing. I called my broker and set up an appointment the next week to look for apartments.

But an interesting thing happened.

We had a relatively nice stay at The Amsterdam Inn (which, upon arrival, I noticed the shared bathrooms and thought I might cry again. But we had a private bathroom so it was all good.) BUT. We soon realized that WE MISSED OUR LITTLE HOBBIT HOLE! The apartment with no closets and hardly any windows! It had become our home! Our neighborhood had invaded our psyche and we belonged to it and it belonged to us. We were miserable away from it. Even the pounding and the fear of bed bugs couldn't keep us away. We wanted to go back HOME.

And back home we went the next afternoon, but not before perhaps the worst of all experiences.

We were told to wait until around 5 PM to return the next day, so Seth and I spent a good bit of time in the Barnes and Noble Cafe down the street from our place. We had been pleasantly sitting and reading for an hour, when a man with two little girls sat down at the adjoining table directly to our right. The little girls were beautiful. Probably ages 5 and 3. Dark, curly hair and brown eyes. And the Dad kept calling one of them Stella and she kept calling him Papa. He sounded British.

Stella, the five year old, kept looking our way and smiling. We kept looking her way and smiling.

It was a special day for Stella and her sister. A special day because they got an oatmeal cookie at the Barnes and Noble. And an even more special day because they got hot chocolate after the oatmeal cookie. All this if they finished their vegetable pizza, which they did.

But I suppose special days have certain special consequences, because all of the sudden, Papa was leaning over Stella, asking if she felt alright. And Stella was shaking her head, no. And then Papa reached for the paper cup that just seconds ago had held the hot chocolate. And Stella leaned her little face over it. And then I turned away and heard sounds of spurting liquid hitting the bottom of a cup.

I gagged. I avoided looking. Papa said, "Are you done?" And Stella shook her head no. And then more sounds of liquid spurting into a cup. I placed my right index finger inside my right ear and stared at the laptop computer in front of me. Stella kept looking our way, embarrassed. We no longer looked her way. Smiles were gone. My face was hot. Please be done. Please be done. Papa ran to the counter for another cup. Stella panicked, and Papa made it back just in time. PLEASE be done.

Finally it was over. They left the cafe, an embarassed Papa, a crying Stella, and a confused little sister. I felt sorry for Stella and her dad. I felt sorry for myself that I couldn't go home and instead had to sit next to a puking child on a rainy day after I found a bed bug in my bed. I took out my hand sanitizer, shared it with Seth, and figured it couldn't get any worse than this.

TO BE CONTINUED (just once more)


Cheryl Barnes said...

OK, that one made me GAG! The puking part, I mean.

Cheryl Barnes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

poor kid!

truevyne said...

Oh, man! Fancy, this is great material for the book or play you are about to write.

FancyPants said...

Hi Cheryl! So great to hear from you. Hope you're doing well, and I'm sorry to make you gag. =-)

Amy, yeah, poor kid. Poor me.

True, what is this book or play I'm about to write?

cool mum said...

Your bed bug posts actually make me feel a little better about the recent visitors around my place--black widows. I know the widows can be pretty lethal, but at least they don't make me feel all itchy just thinking about them. Hope it gets better!