Friday, October 07, 2005

I'm dropping the acid

My favorite part of the Times' Book Review section on Sunday was written in response to a blog-turned-book, Julie and Julia, by Julie Powell, who spent a year cooking Ms. Child's French recipes in her cramped New York kitchen. David Kamp's review veered into a tangent that made me laugh outloud, in touching upon the "troublesome trend among young memoirists, who seem to think that repeated references to their poor hygiene and the squalidness of their surroundings give texture and depth to their work. No, no, no! Being subjected over and over again to images of your piled-up dirty dishes and backed-up plumbing (bodily and otherwise) only makes me want to put down your book. Stop it!"

Having now admitted that fulltime writers describing their dirty habitats is overdone and in general just a very icky thing to read about, I have to confess that I'm sitting at my kitchen table waiting for my neighbor to arrive with "the big guns." Fingers crossed that those guns include boric acid because the battle we're up against is bugs and I don't know what else to do about them. There's not an army of them, and they aren't even roaches, but everyday I see three or four of them -- I flip on the lights in the kitchen and I see a few tiny bugs (somewhere between the size of No. 2 pencil erasers and my pinky nail) scurry around. They have a special penchant for hanging out in the silverware drawer and frankly, I'm getting weary of rewashing my silver spoons and soup ladle.

My next-door neighbor, Mike, a guy whose appearance is screaming to be caught on film and titled "This is the East Village", usually keeps to himself, strumming his electric guitar behind closed doors or running down the stairs in Converse sneakers and a rumpled tie with a messenger bag slung over his shoulder on his way to work at an "indie magazine." Yesterday morning, we walked outside together and I asked him if he ever sees any bugs in his apartment...? And he looked at me over the rims of his plastic black sunglasses and said, "No one told you?"

"Told me what?" I said. He shook his head. "It's the guy below us. He's lived here forever and he's stuck in his ways and one of those ways...involves carrying things in off the street all the time."

"What kind of things?" I asked.

"Oh," Mike said, "you know, I saw him hauling a wooden rocking horse upstairs last week. Sometimes it's just wet cardboard boxes and stuff like flat tires."

Flat tires? What would someone do with a flat tire in his apartment? I guess you could sit on one side of your living room and roll it back and forth with someone. But if it's flat, how would it roll? Unless you patched the hole and inflated it. Or you could put a piece of wood on top and use it as...an exceedingly low table. But does this man sound like the type to have fondue parties on the floor? Does he sit on the rocking horse and...rock?

I'm sorry, especially so soon, to be one of those people describing her "squalidness" but I'm holding out hope for the boric acid. And then we'll never mention this again.

4 Comments:

Blogger The Girl Who said...

This was an awesome... No worries, I too have small bugs in my apartment.. and I just had the exterminator in about four days ago.. WTF?

1:34 PM  
Blogger The Girl Who said...

That was weird.. meant to say 'this was an awesome blog'.. didn't show up somehow so I had to post again.. If I got that post on my blog I'd sit an wonder.. "This was an awesome... WHAT!!!

1:36 PM  
Blogger StephanieKlein said...

Okay, I'm now combing through my book and limiting all the places where I talk about not showering. Thank you. Also, isn't infusium the best? L'oreal used to make an anti-frizz gel, but it has been discontinued... so I have totally been suffering... hence, not bothering to shower. Sigh.

12:36 PM  
Anonymous camille said...

maybe fleas ? or termites?

9:08 AM  

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