Actually Day Sixteen.
I’m totally losing it. I’m losing my mind.
I started getting bitten again a couple of days ago. Just single bites, that looked a lot like mosquito bites.
But I was worried.
It started this way before—single bites, that appeared over the day. Perhaps after a night out. It’s been terribly hot and humid—mosquitos can be a problem. But I had a feeling. A slow, deep, pounding sense of foreboding. The knowledge—known without being known—that something wasn’t right.
Yesterday, I couldn’t take it anymore. I asked Mr. PKB to check for bugs after I went to work. He thought I was being silly. He did it anyway.
12:02pm, I get a text: “BUG!!!!!!!” It was engorged with my blood, and ready to molt to adulthood.
He does the laundry. He steams the bed, the carpet, the baseboards. He sprays. He checks again. All seems to be well.
We make love on the enclosed corpses of our enemies. That was a bad idea. They are vengeful.
I wake up today with twelve new, very itchy bites. Clusters of three. Bites on my thumb. Bites close to my armpit. Bites on my toes. I go to work. Mr. PKB looks for bugs.
2:44pm: “Another engorged bug. What the duck.”
A few minutes later: “Turns out you’re not crazy.”
Damn right. Damn fucking right.
He does the routine, goes to play a show. I get home, check everything: an exoskeleton on the mattress. In the course of lifting the mattress and box spring, my jaw gives up. Nine years of TMJ and this stress—it’s not happening. The tendons that reach around my shoulders and up my neck are strained. I can’t move without feeling their creak. I bought new sheets—pale butter yellow, the better to see you with, my dear. I wash them, and some towels. As I push the coins into the dryer, the tray sticks. The coins are in, but only halfway.
So I lug my wet laundry the block and a half to the laundromat to dry. 45 minutes later, as I fold the sheets and towels, I get catcalled. While I’m inside the laudromat.
I’m just—I’m just. I can’t.
FUN UPDATE: My apartment manager called to let me know when the repair guy is coming for the county-mandated repairs. I ask when they’re treating for the bedbugs. He says he thought we already treated. I say that I understood that they were required to treat them (it was in the same notice as the repairs) and he goes, “well, will you let us put the bug bomb down?”
Sigh. “We never said you couldn’t put the bomb down, we just said that they don’t work. They don’t work and they can cause very serious illnesses and allergic reactions.” He says “That’s all hearsay.” Sigh. I go “It’s scientific studies. I can’t have this conversations with you again.” He, “I don’t know what to say.” I, “Neither do I.”
They have until Friday to treat us, and then they get fined. The county inspector agreed that bug bombs don’t work. I’m calling in a dog detection company. I can’t play bedbug whack-a-mole anymore.