How To Erase Yourself

I'm spending the day cleaning out my old apartment. It hasn't been easy. I've had to be supremely detached and cold. So far there are 7 bags of garbage, and the job is only half done.

It's just stuff, I keep repeating to myself.

The first piece of 'adult' furniture I purchased, so proudly, in 1997? Gone.

Those bedside tables that I refinished? Garbage.

Birthday cards from up to 10 years ago? Bye.

A thousand memories, all sorted through and divided into two piles: the stuff I am permanently letting go, and the stuff I will bag tightly and put into storage. And all this sorting and leaving things behind feels really familiar to me, not in the good way, but in the numb mechanical way in which allowed me to survive this before.

It's just stuff. It's just stuff. It's just stuff.


Leave Off The Last S for Savings

My new bed was delivered last night, so I have finally slept in my new apartment!

Given its proximity to the Lincoln Tunnel, traffic is always crazy in this neighborhood, and has lately been even more insane due to road closures and people who are driving into the city instead of using public transportation. Luckily, school and my internship are over until January 17th, so the impact of the strike on my routine has been minimal. The closest I got to inconvenience was during the bed delivery. The driver couldn't get onto my street, and had been circling for about an hour when the company called me and asked me to find him. So I walked up 9th Avenue until I located the truck. The guy couldn't have been nicer, and asked me to get in to show him where my building is.

Yes, I rode around in a 1-800-MATTRESS truck.

And it was awesome.


The Jerz

I have keys to my new apartment (and I go over there frequently to marvel at the un-bugginess) but I can't stay there until I put up curtains in my bedroom and until the contractor installs the rod that will allow me to put up a shower curtain.

I also can't bear to sleep one more single night in my old apartment, so I've taken refuge at my parent's house in the New Jersey suburbs. They are on vacation, so I am all by myself. I went holiday shopping today, which, if you're familiar with New Jersey, means that I went to the craziness that is the Garden State Plaza. It felt really strange to be driving, but within five minutes, I was back into my old routine, cursing at all of the other drivers on Route 17, cutting people off, blowing my horn and generally acting like an asshole. But only to fit in.

The mall cannot even be discussed. I can only be grateful that I will not be there this Saturday, on the last possible shopping day before Christmas, because today was bad enough.

On the way home, I found myself rocking out to Bon Jovi. I guess you can't take the Jerz out of the girl...



An Open Letter To My Bedbugs:

Just about 24 hours from now, I'll be moving. Considering all of the time we've spent together over the past year, I didn't think it was right to leave without saying gooodbye. I want you all to know that I am taking some fond, fond memories with me as I move to my new apartment.

I mean, who could forget all those early morning hours when it was just the 10 of us - you recently fed and crawling back to your homes and me, covered with itchy red welts? Or what about the time when one of you bit my eyelid? Or when you started living in my computer keyboard? Good times! I've got to say that things got really interesting when you overturned your nocturnal habits and started hanging out with me during the day.

One of the nice things about living with you was that you always made me feel so wanted. You really went out of your way to show me that, and to make sure that I woke up with evidence that you had spent time with me during the night. I'll never have to doubt again that my blood is tasty and satisfying. And you were so innovative! Who knew that you could live through that many exterminations? (I hope you know I was only kidding about that. Really. I never meant to hurt you. It's just, you know, a girl's gotta have her own space sometimes.)

I know you'll miss me terribly, but I hope you'll be comforted by the fact that I will carry with me some souvenirs of our time together. Every time I look at the bite scars on my hands, arms and legs, I'll think of you. When I see a dark speck of dust or lint on my clothing or furniture, I'll believe that you've somehow made your way back to me. When I get in bed at night, I'm sure I will not sleep soundly, preferring to wake up intermittently to check my sheets. Yes, all of these things will continue for a long, long time, so don't worry that I'm going to forget about you.

I used to think that you were all using me, but really, I'm the lucky one. Thanks to your company, my life became so much...simpler. I'm just going to love living in my new place without most of my furniture and belongings - it'll be so clean and modern, minimalistic, even. You've really forced me (I know, I can be so stubborn sometimes, thanks for showing me that) to reassess what is essential in my life.


PS: You'll understand if I don't leave a forwarding address, right? Even the best relationships have to end sometimes.



  • Is 'string cheese' still 'string cheese' if I just shove the entire thing in my mouth?
  • I've been walking for roughly 32 years. How is it that I (on a regular basis) still manage to hit myself in the ankles with the heel of my shoe and trip?
  • Is Tasti-Delite still calorie and fat-free if I eat it with Oreo topping? Further, is that dinner?
  • Is it sufficient to get your news from US Weekly and Time Out New York?
  • Is it a bad sign to completely forget about returning a phone call from a cute boy who wants to date you?
  • Is it reasonable to believe that I can survive in my new apartment without cable or internet access since I am presumably addicted to watching bad television and writing in this blog?



I just got a call from my current management company. They are debating whether or not I can terminate my lease 7 months before it officially expires. Ha.

Also troubling is that I spoke to the real estate agent for the building, who was asking me about the layout of my apartment, because he is going to be showing it to prospective renters within the next week. He is well aware of the bedbug problem, but seems unconcerned about someone else moving in. There has to be a way to warn people, right? Possible ideas (keep in mind I've been writing papers about various social problems over the past few days, so my mind is pretty fried):

  • standing in front of the building and intercepting the real estate agent and unsuspecting victims/prospective renters before they view the apartment
  • making the apartment messier than it already is in the hopes that no-one would want to live there
  • contacting the NYC Department of Health/Housing
  • constructing a huge warning sign and posting it on my front door

I can think of various reasons why these won't work, so does anyone have thoughts on this?


Bedbugs Can Read!

And they apparently have internet access and visit this blog. They're biting again. Last night, as I sat on my couch, I watched a bedbug head towards me, crawling along my living room floor. He seemed to be taunting me by his mere presence, daring me to actually go to sleep.

I've solved the problem by taking refuge in the school computer lab, where I plan to remain until a) finals are over and b) I move into my new apartment. Wait, wait, I didn't mean that. I'm actually not going anywhere.*

*unformulated lie, designed to attempt to fool the bedbugs into thinking they've triumphed


Time Travel

Somehow, while at the dry cleaner, my sweater managed to travel back to the 1960's, and brought back this bag as a souvenir. Weird.


2nd (or 10th) Guessing

Life sometimes forces you to revisit your decisions.

Small: Invariably, whenever I schedule a haircut, I will immediately have a time period directly before the appointment in which my hair looks perfect.

Large: Within one month of our break-up, T changed certain elements of his life that had previously caused a great deal of contentiousness within our relationship: he moved to the city, began taking better care of his health, and started to reconcile with his estranged mother.

Currently: I've gone 4 nights without seeing a bedbug or getting new bites. However, I've already informed my management company that I'm terminating my lease and started to make preparations to move.


More Coping

Oh, and, also hypothetically, one might choose to alleviate stress by chowing down: big-ass pork plate, side of mac and cheese, side of salt potatoes.


Sometimes, when you're feeling overwhelmed and stressed, the best way to deal with it is...not deal with it. This is best accomplished by, say, going to a friend's apartment and drinking a bottle of wine. And maybe having a cigarette or 10. And then by stumbling down 10th Avenue and eventually, reaching home and passing out on your bathroom floor, only to wake up at 4:13 am with a raging hangover.

Hypothetically, of course.