Today is supposed to be warm -- a good thing since we have been deluged with so much rain in the past week that we have been on a flood watch for the past couple days. Of course, no one knows what a "flood watch" means in Manhattan since there are no real streams or rivers on the island that can jump their banks to sweep away one's humble abode with raging waters. Even the streams in Central Park flow from a faucet.
Normally, I would eagerly welcome the arrival of warm weather, especially after the previous winter, which was the most intense winter I've ever experienced. But alas, I am learning that warm weather in Manhattan is not characterized by gentle breezes but instead, warm weather in Manhattan accompanied by hot, still, heavy air and humidity is roughly equivalent to, or exceeds, the Fahrenheit temperature.
Angry weather. Ugh.
My humble abode is located on the second floor of my building. It sits above several restaurants, including one pizza place that has the dubious distinction of producing the worst pizza I've ever eaten in NYC -- or anywhere in the world, for that matter. Even though this restaurant's pet cockroaches no doubt have enough grease to support their rapidly expanding numbers, there are always a few individuals that are compelled to go exploring. This is how I met my first REAL NYC cockroach.
After several visits from cockroaches during the winter months, I had decided that NYCers are incredible liars -- worse than Texans, as a matter of fact -- fully capable of distorting a one centimeter long cockroach into a ping-pong-ball-sized monster capable of carrying away a newly-stocked refrigerator.
That is what I thought, until this past Monday morning. When I crawled out of my snug nest into my ice-cold apartment during the wee hours, I was surprised into a fully-awake state by a delicate crunching sound underfoot. I turned on the light and was greeted by the sight of a HUGE cockroach, an American cockroach otherwise known as a "waterbug" to NYCers, its abdomen squished flat into a gooey mess on my fake wood floor. As if to further disgust me, one eye also had rolled out of its head.
Bug guts. Under my feet. Ugh.
After a few brief pangs of guilt because I had deprived a fellow pizza-lover of its one and only life, followed by guilt from the knowledge that this senseless murder was likely divine retribution because I had not swept and mopped my floors as I usually do each weekend, I was tremendously relieved that I had -- it was one of those rare times in my life -- put slippers on my bare feet before wandering my apartment in the darkness.
And this cockroach's Monday morning was certainly much worse than any Monday morning I'd ever had, which is a good thing since the inevitable result if our fates were reversed is that I would not be here to tell you these -- or any -- tales.
Now I have a new story to share with my colleagues who delight me with empassioned "EWWWWWW!"s and "YUCK!"s in all the right places. According to them, I have met all the criteria for being a "real" NYCer; I have at least one TRUE rat story and one TRUE cockroach story to tell. But I still lack the third adventure in the "triple crown" of experiences that distinguish real NYCers from the pretenders: I am still seeking one -- ONLY one -- crazy cab driver story to add to my repertorie.
tags: NYC Life