When I returned to New York 18 months ago and moved alone into a perfectly reasonable alcove studio, I really wanted to view the experience as positive — as a time I’d grow, and get to know myself again. I wanted to think of myself as a strong, professional, self-sufficient woman of the ’00s, with a hint of Carrie Bradshaw and a fierce need for breathing room. But the reality is, I’ve never even touched a pair of Manolo Blahniks and as politically incorrect as it may be to say, I just like the comfort of coming home to someone. Not someone who’s throwing furniture at me, of course, but someone who actually makes my life better, and who lets me make his better. I actually am a fairly independent person and I like personal space as much as the next guy, but at the end of the day, I tend to find an empty apartment sad.
Furthermore, I had left the safety, comfort, taupe overtones and Slatkin candles of Rob and Dave’s gorgeous apartment in Philly, where someone was always home and/or right next door at Kelly and Josh’s, and come back to a place that looked nothing like it did when I’d left a few years earlier. It was traumatic, and it took a lot of getting used to.
But eventually I settled into a new routine — which often involved television and ice cream. I can’t say I’ve grown — other than in the thigh-al region — and the only thing I learned about myself is that I really do prefer vanilla-based Haagen Dazs. But fine, I’ve done it. I’ve lived alone. Props to me!
Except that all this time, I’ve had a secret roommate, and last night, he decided to introduce himself.
I was putting my turquoise, collapsible hamper back in my closet when one of my brown suede Steve Madden boots fell on its side. Upon bending down to pick it up, I saw the most ginormous, 2,000-legged roach-like bug in the history of mankind. I mean this thing was at least the size of an Easter Peep. And brown. And antenna’ed. And GUH-ROSS! I shivered (or maybe even convulsed) and instantly grabbed a wedge boot to use as a weapon against him.
How long had he been there? What was he doing in my SHOE CLOSET? Had he been watching me live, by myself, ALL THIS TIME? Had he been laying his eggs (or having his ladyfriend lay eggs) in my Michael Kors?! Did he have parties with BUG JUICE when I wasn’t here? ICK ICK ICK ICK. DOUBLE ICK. ICK!
With all my might, I smashed the boot onto his pervy little body, waiting for the tell-tale crunch that would indicate a success kill. None came, and as I lifted up the shoe, I saw the bastard scurry away into the corner. I swear, I could hear him laughing at me.
It was hard to sleep after that. Everytime a hair fell onto my face, I imagined it was the bug headed for my mouth, where he’d take a bug crap and cause some kind of rare but deadly bug-borne disease. Everytime I had an itch, I imagined it was him. Everytime I heard the faintest sound, it was him, bringing in the rest of his friends to torture me.
When I left the house, I seriously considered going barefoot to avoid seeing him again. But did I really want to brave the subway with no protective footwear? I did some recon. He wasn’t there. He’s probably moved into the kitchen, where he’s infiltrating my sugar cannister, or my top drawer, where I keep my super-nice Hanky Panky undies. He’s like a terrorist — impossible to catch, keeping me in the dark about when he’ll strike next …
So the moral of the story is … you may think you’re too-cool-for-school, and you may think you’re building character living on your own … but are you???