As the days wore on into weeks, I settled into this bed bug war which reached a sort of equilibrium. The initial flurry of numerous bites stopped but I kept randomly getting one or two bites at odd intervals. Mike the pest control guy would come back and redo the treatments. It began to wear at my psychologically a bit. Just thinking about the reality of the situation gave me the shivers. There exists on this planet small tiny creatures that wait for you to sleep, when you are at your most vulnerable. When you are then completely defenseless, these creatures come out of their hiding spots and then crawl onto your body. Once on your body, they pierce your skin with an appendage, the goal being to suck blood out of your body so that they have a meal. After being engorged with your own blood, they make there way back to their hiding spots, sometimes stopping to defecate in your bedding, defecating your blood. I kept thinking that not only did these vile creatures exist, they were living in my bedroom. Such thoughts made it difficult to sleep at times.
I began thinking how little I respected bed bugs. They were parasites. They lived in your stuff, usually near where you slept.. They crapped in your stuff. They laid eggs in your stuff. There were so many more kinds of insects I had more respect for. People think cockroaches are disgusting but compare them to bed bugs. Cockroaches are just interested in food, the food you might have in your kitchen or pantry. You can understand that right? They want the cereal left out on the table. Hey, they like Captain Crunch as much as you do. Cockroaches most likely can be found in a kitchen. They’re not in you freaking bed and they sure aren’t wanting to suck your blood. Spiders can be freaky at times but they aren’t spinning their webs to catch you. They want to eat other bugs, hell even bed bugs perhaps. I respect that… me and Charlotte, we cool. Hell, let’s talk about mosquitoes. Skeeters, like bed bugs, want your blood but at least they’re a proper type of villain. First, they fly, they don’t crawl over you and your bedding. They also don’t live in your stuff. If they manage to get a meal outta you, they fly away and leave you alone. They don’t proceed to crawl back into your night stand and then take a dump there. Skeeters also have the decency to come at you when you’re awake, making it at least a fair fight. Even if they try biting you at night, they make enough noise that you can hear them. Skeeters are ok when compared to bed bugs. Out of all the species we have driven to extinction, why can’t bed bugs be next on the list?
All this thinking about bed bugs made me schedule an appointment with Alexis, the residence life manager. We met at her office and as we sat down I read her the UBC Housing mission statement which in part stated some desire to provide students with a safe and nurturing environment in which to study and live. I asked if she knew what I had just read. She did and I asked her if UBC Housing had fulfilled that mission in my case given that they had put me into an apartment that they knew contained creatures that were waiting for me to go to sleep so they could drink my blood. Alexis correctly answered that perhaps UBC Housing had not given me the best environment to live in. She was very understanding and I felt she wanted to help me but could not give me as much assistance as I perhaps wanted. She wasn’t in an administrative role unlike Mary. What Alexis did offer me was several days of free accommodations at UBC Conference housing. These were fully furnished small apartments, more like hotel rooms that were used for conference guests. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay there long term. I believe I was only able to stay there for two weekends. I basically used it to sleep. I’d study well into the night at my apartment and then packed up my PJs and headed across campus to sleep in conference housing. It was a bit of a hassle but at least it was worry free sleep.
In my next post, someone gets fired! Exciting!
You can find the other posts of this series here.