My Favorite Bugs from My Four Years Living in New York City
Little Bugs (Assorted)
When I first moved to N.Y.C., I cried every single day. This is a very normal thing that everyone does because rent costs a hundred billion dollars; it is very hard to get a job writing for “S.N.L.”; and little bugs land on you at night as you lie in your A.C.-less bedroom, near an open window, trying to sleep in the nine-hundred-degree heat. The answer to all of these problems is to get air-conditioning.
Cockroach at My Friend’s Apartment
My friend freaked out and I pretended to sympathize but secretly thought, Ha ha! My apartment will never have cockroaches!
Cockroach in My Apartment
The next day.
Butterfly on the Subway Platform
Oooh, I thought, clapping my hands, maybe it will fly onto the subway, like in that scene of “You’ve Got Mail” where Meg Ryan e-mails Tom Hanks about a butterfly on the subway! It didn’t. I called my mom about it anyway.
Medium-Sized Bugs (Assorted)
Over the past four years, I have been lucky enough to have dozens of very friendly medium-sized bugs fly directly into my eyeball.
Gang of Chill-As-Hell Cockroaches on My Living-Room Ceiling
These cockroaches liked to post up on the living-room ceiling after work every day and just veg for hours. And, honestly? I get it.
Cockroach on My Living-Room Floor
One time a cockroach came down from the ceiling to the floor, and after half an hour of recreational screaming, my roommates and I caught it under a Solo cup. A couple of days later, we worked up enough courage to write “COCKROACH” on the cup. Maybe a month after that, we worked up the courage to throw it away.
Flies in My Office
We could have closed the office window, but we were holding out hope that a pigeon would fly in, shake things up, and ultimately teach us how to live in the moment.
Silverfish (Approximately Half a Million)
I am fine with these because I don’t think they know how to bite me.
Ant on My Upper Arm
The only ant I have ever encountered in New York was at the office, on my upper arm. How did it get inside? How did it get up to the eleventh floor? How did it make its way onto my upper arm without me noticing? Ants are geniuses.
While I was on my roof gazing pensively at the Manhattan skyline, as all young New Yorkers are contractually obligated to do, I realized that my elbow was an inch away from a praying mantis. Just like when I saw Patti Smith in a café, half of me was honored to finally encounter one of my feminist icons I.R.L., and half of me wanted to run away sobbing.
I have never had bedbugs, due, I believe, to purity of heart and a refusal to fuck with Craigslist.
Cockroach in My Bedroom
This cockroach acted mellow but I knew that all it wanted from life was to crawl into my mouth while I slept. It inspired me to (a) recommit to finding a boyfriend, in order to have other places to sleep, and (b) finally call an exterminator.