that renter's insurance does not cover the emotional damages caused by the death of twenty-year-old house plants.
my grandmother passed away last year and left me all of her houseplants. some of them she'd had almost as long as I've been alive. I also had a peace lily from her funeral. i was told the lily would be very hard to kill.
it died last night.
five years ago, my friend Pat passed away and left me a dieffenbachia. it was a stringy thing with a single leaf. i nursed it into a six-feet tall monster that took over my bathroom.
it died last night as well.
when the Gibs and i started dating, i began re-building my vinyl collection, starting with the albums he bought me in Los Angeles.
last night, my entire collection was exposed to temperatures above 145*F for over twenty-four hours.
i noticed the first bite on Christmas Day. I didn't realise what it was at the time because, c'mon. It was just a bug bite. it itched and i scratched.
a week later, i had several more bites that weren't clearing up.
i found the culprit almost three weeks after that initial bite and i was floored.
you see, i'd seen bed bugs before. for three years i worked at a care facility for low-income mentally and physically disabled persons. it wasn't a full care facility; it was a non-profit struggling to meet the needs of the community on a shoestring budget, and despite everyone's best efforts, things like bed bugs happened.
the facility was quick to treat them. all employees were educated in how to identify the bugs and the best means of eradicating them before they really took hold, and we never had a re-infestation. they were always over six months apart.
i informed my apartment manager right away about what i'd found. to my knowledge, nothing was done at that time.
i took steps on my own.
i tore apart my apartment, laundering everything, steaming and treating my furniture, along my baseboards, everything. i didn't see any more for a week or so.
then our maintenance woman found several bugs in the communal laundry area. she also informed my apartment manager. by this time, two months had passed and the bugs had found their way back into my apartment.
i dumped my bed. my dresser, my nightstand, the entertainment stand in my livingroom, one of my living room chairs and an ottoman. i found where they were coming into my apartment and attempted to seal it. but it was too late. i was infested.
all this time i complained to my apartment manager about the infestation until finally she said she'd have a 'bug guy' come look.
he said he didn't find anything in my apartment.
i took her a container with all the live bugs i'd caught. it was gross. it was unsettling. she had an exterminator come round. everyone in the building was advised to take their animals away while the building was treated.
i began staying with the Gibs because sleeping in the apartment was giving me anxiety attacks. whenever i fell asleep i'd have nightmares about the bugs and wake up in a panic. i was sleeping less than two or three hours a night for weeks.
this last weekend i stayed at the Gibs' house and slept and enjoyed not worrying about bugs.
when I tried going home to grab some clothes, i was turned away. i was told that we were all informed that the building was being sealed and they were using the most effective means of extermination possible, as the entire building was infested. they were going to pump superheated air into the apartment, killing everything.
i was not informed.
i was not allowed in until this morning at nine a.m.
my apartment was a mess. they'd gone in and removed the sprinkler heads, for obvious reasons, but had knocked things off walls, kicked over furniture, etc.
the heat caused my oil paints to explode. my bottles of shampoo, cleaners, soaps, all swole and leaked everywhere.
and my plants.
in other news, I'm moving in with the Gibs.