The things I do in the name of journalism.
Friday morning, I awake to a migraine. Though the pain hasn’t kicked in yet, as I am peeling the shell of my hard boiled eggs, I realize I can’t really see what one hand is doing. I stare at a blank wall to confirm the fact that I am developing a split vision headache, aka, mini migraine.
What to do?? I had a deadline, and I left my BB charger at work. Drats. So I did what any trooper would do: popped in two Advil, and solicited help from my roommate who was walking out the door at the same time to prevent me from bumping into fellow pedestrians and strollers on our way to the PATH trains.
Functioning with split vision is a bit like seeing the world with that crazy annoying “overwrite” mode in Microsoft Word. In this mode, the text just after the cursor gets deleted as you type new text. It’s incredibly disorienting and frustrating until you realize what’s going on. Split vision is the same thing: your point of focus seems to blur or block out what your eyes are trying to look at. In order to see something clearly, you have to look to the side of it, or sometimes below or above. Fascinating, I know.
I think I should be able to add my ability to type through this phenomenon under the “skills” section in my resume.
Annnnnyways, I miraculously pulled through to deliver this to the editor. Enjoy-ee.
Close Encounters of the Pest Kind
I have a confession. When I was six-years-old, I stomped out an entire ant hill in my backyard. Seconds later, an army of beady, fat, black ants took their revenge by crawling up my chubby legs. They had it coming though–the placement of their hill killed the baby evergreen tree I planted for Arbor Day. But, ever since that battle, the bugs have had it out for me.
This relationship with nature does not fare well when you live in an old house or building, because the outside will inevitably seep in. As luck would have it, I’ve usually had some sort of pest-control on speed-dial. When I was in single digits, all I had to do was yell DADDY!!!
One afternoon in college, my roommate and I found that screaming bloody murder was quite effective after we were welcomed back to our dorm room by a bird flapping around our tubs of animal crackers. Our hall mate came to the rescue, and he scooped the bird up with a lacrosse stick.
But now–I live with two other girls, and the topic of bug-control has not yet come up, until recently.
Upon returning home from a gallery opening post-work, I headed to the kitchen for some water before going to bed, and a little friend was waiting for me. I froze. I spied a huge, blackish-brown, beetle-like thing that walked slowly across the linoleum. I jumped away. The roommates were asleep, and the vacuum was behind my nemesis. I decided to exit the kitchen, turn off the light, and forget I ever saw it. I had to rock myself to sleep.
In the morning, I screeched that I saw the grossest cricket last night into the phone, naturally, to my mother. As a native to New Yorker, she said something so eye opening that I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
“Em, you are such a suburb girl. I love that you assume that a bug like that is a cricket,” she said.
I mean, I guess it didn’t make a noise, and it’s not August quite yet…Then I realized—good God, it might be a cockroach. I had never felt so far away from home.
Since that rude awakening, I have seen my enemy two more times. The second time, I reacted with the same, back-up-slowly-and-return-to-your-room approach. But, last night, when I saw him creep out from under the fridge, I took action. I placed a white ceramic bowl on top of my nemesis. Whatever he is, he is now in captivity.I left a note for the roommates and told them not to look under the bowl flipped upside down by the microwave. I think they’ll understand. Or, they’ll just think I’m an idiot. Only time will tell if the bowl is still there when I get home.