Monday, June 11, 2012

Taking off my bug-colored glasses

I’ve always been a glass-half-empty kind of gal. But recently I’ve had a few glass-half-full flashes. 

A friend was hanging a garment to dry on her shower-curtain rod and slipped on a rug that was draped over the edge of the bathtub. She fell into the tub, her ribs landing hard onto the edge. I went to visit her as she was convalescing at home a few days later, nursing her bruises. She expressed a sense of deep vulnerability. But to me she seemed strangely invulnerable. No broken bones after crashing with her full body weight onto a metal ledge! Superwoman! 

Just the other day, though, I had to be reminded to flip the hourglass. I was telling a co-worker that bedbugs were closing in on my apartment. My son has had an on-again off-again infestation for over a year. An office on my floor at work has been found to have a second infestation a year after the first. A woman who does the morning shift—and sits in the chair I use in the afternoon—at the volunteer job I do on my day off contracted bedbugs during a cross-country flight. Two tenements just east of my apartment building have been exterminated in the past few months. “And my son says 15% of all New York City apartments have bedbugs,” I concluded. “Yeah,” said my colleague. “But 85% don't." Well, there's that.

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