An unsolicited history of terrible things (because even though Mercury is no longer in Retrograde, that doesn’t make us safe).

I should tell you, although I am generally a nice person who likes having people in my home, it’s occasionally true that my home is inhospitable. It’s a pretty home, refurbished adobe, wood beam ceilings, lovely yard always visible through the windows. (It’s July and the grass still hasn’t burst into flames, so that’s pleasant.) But I can no longer deny that there are certain drawbacks.

To wit:

1. Let’s start slow. Once, a dear friend of mine was visiting, and she and I sat on the couch, talking about our various anxieties. (Friendship!) Just as she was narrating some particularly unpleasant encounter, my friend shrieked and started brushing her arm as if to brush the skin from her flesh and bones.

“There’s a bug on me!” she cried.

“Yes,” I replied coolly. “That can happen.

2. After a weeklong trip, Dave and I returned to our sweet abode and realized there was an odd pungency hanging in the air; one that we didn’t remember as being so omnipresent. Then we saw that there were rat droppings all over the floor, and in the toilet, and that a rat had eaten our dog’s food. Later in the week, the rat actually snuck into the apartment WHILE I WAS THERE, and our dog did nothing but stare at it bemusedly while I jumped up onto a chair like a cartoon woman.

(This from the same dog that uses 90% of his energy to yell at birds for existing and having feathers and being close enough for him to see them.)

The rat is now banished, but the memory of him lingers.

3. On Monday, a line of ants marched across my kitchen in a stately fashion, from somewhere inside the oven to the top of the refrigerator and back again, until they all died from eating the sweet poison I left out for them. I felt a mild to moderate guilt.

4. Yesterday, my landlord called me before 7 a.m. (I didn’t answer, on principle, though really if someone is calling you before 7am it’s probably urgent; this case would bear that out. A lesson to us all.) Later in the morning he came over and, with a frenzied gleam in his eye, told me that there were cockroaches streaming by the thousands out of a manhole cover some two blocks away, and that I should close the bathtub drain “to be safe.” He then proceeded to go into all the apartments in our little complex where no one was home, and perform this service for them – it was that urgent. He also told me that the cockroaches were pale and grey, as if rendered half-dead by their long sojourn in the underworld of the sewers.

I guess another way of saying this is that: 1. Once, a friend of mine had a bug on her, 2. There was a rat but now there isn’t and he was defeated by a soup can blocking his entrance (wiley!), 3. I killed some ants during ant season, and 4. No cockroaches entered my apartment, but my landlord is very thoughtful.

However, life is short, and I prefer the dramatic reading. Please come visit!

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Also, this week’s links:
– It’s The Toast‘s one-year anniversary of existing! Go read this and this and this and this.
– It is an infuriating shame that the Supreme Court thinks women should have less agency than corporations, but at least we have Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Animals going mad, as humans do.
A thoughtful conversation with Kate Zambreno in The Believer Logger.
– Oh yeah, if you didn’t see this already, here’s an interview I did with my good friend Sarah Marcus for Gazing Grain Press. Thanks to Sarah for setting this up!