Of Beds and Bugs

Well, just one bed, actually.

And not even a full bed, just a mattress. We had a full bed in Colorado but left it behind when we moved here, along with many other items. And not even a real mattress, but a frameless futon sprawled on the floor in permanent unfold.

But our unwanted bug company is markedly plural.

I had never encountered bedbugs before outside my Charles Bukowski reading. And after encountering them, I have to say I would have preferred to have kept them academic. But we don’t always have control over such things; or at least not the amount of control we would like to have.

Gary and I tried to assume some control by buying one of those bedbug-proof mattress covers. It has helped only marginally, as they are probably in the walls and, as it seems by their sudden appearance on sheet or shirt or skin, also in thin air.

Gary in particular has been going bonkers with helplessness; their not there state spontaneously changing into thereness makes him afraid to go to sleep. Understandably so, as they seem to seek him out more than me and his body is allergic to them.

While awake, he remains on edge, sensitive to their contact. While awake, I remain on edge, sensitive to his call of “Get it, get it”.

And I get it; kill it. I kill a lot. But the problem with a lot is it is relative and of little good when it is being measured against an army of a lot more.

I checked on professional exterminators and quickly discovered our impoverished financial means has added another notch to our general helplessness in this matter, as they are quite costly.

Quite costly here is synonymous with can’t afford ’em.

A significant part of control is having resources, the lack of which quickly becomes the catch-22 of poverty. It is difficult to swim the channel when you are trying not to drown. Thankfully our landlord said he knows an exterminator that he will get out next week.

But that will be next week and be dependent on him.

While appreciative, I nevertheless hate both of the above with every fiber of my being.

First, I hate that I can’t immediately give Gary the bug-free environment he needs. And secondly, I hate that the resolution depends on someone other than me.

There is an implicit third hate there, too, as environment and dependence isn’t limited to bugs and landlords. Until we get out of this hellish life-cycle of just getting by, our history of helplessness repeats. I know I must change things well beyond this current difficulty.

And I hate not knowing how to do so.