Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Guy Next Door Has Bedbugs

So Life's Going To Be... Interesting For A While

Last week, I was advised that the dweller in the unit next to me discovered bedbugs. There's been a certain amount of spraying in his unit, and all those surrounding his, including mine.

No signs of any unpaying roommates so far. It's possible that the infestation was caught early enough; but, who knows. I've just spent the weekend doing two things -- preparing for the possibility of losing most of my possessions, bagging up all the clothes I own, separating out the books I want to keep before any Arthropods might show up.

And I have several hundred books, collected over twenty-plus years; most of them are in bookcases against the common wall I share with Herr Infecto's unit, in a building built in 1908 after the San Francisco earthquake and fire burned out 90% of Nob Hill. Arthropods like books.

I've equated aspects of my life with my possessions -- they represent stability, security, in a world spinning with change. They're twined with my self-image, separating me from others; in my mind, helping to define my uniqueness. The possibility of losing those Things means losing that self-image, breaking down what I assume to be Me.

Any time during the next six weeks, I'll know if the infestation has spread to my unit. One way or another, I'll be jettisoning a lot of things, paring down. This is something I've thought about doing for at least a year. So, perhaps it's useful, a reflection of a desire for growth and change.

It's not precisely like waiting for a medical diagnosis, but it's close.

Change is stressful. And even if I end up scrubbing my life down to only the most essential items and moving on forward, I still have to live a life -- such as it is -- and work at a job (also in the process of changing); try my best to be a Mensch, a friend, a human being.

At the moment, Greece's continuing debt crisis; Iran's tub-thumping nationalism and America's 'line-in-the-sand' diplomacy; and Mitt Romney's nation of 'Quiet Rooms' doesn't seem so important. So posting may be light for a while.

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