22nd May 2015

Mabel the manic mozzie hasn’t been seen for days. I’ve checked under the bed several times. I’m rather hoping that my new friend Ken the cockroach has eaten her. Why do so many people hate cockroaches? Ken’s fine when you meet him in the er….carapace.

3 thoughts on “Insect life in my Apartment”

  1. One cockroach? Luxury.

    I lived for 4 years in Pimlico. I say “lived”. Existed would be a more accurate term. I had bought a basement flat in my first move from home at the tender age of 32. The estate agent insisted it was a “Garden Flat”. Calling a patch of concrete 2 metres wide and 4 long with a dead geranium in a pot a garden seemed more than a little deceptively specious to me but he was probably just trying to see the best in life.

    Anyway, back to cockroaches. The flat above mine was, for a long time, the last unmodernised one in the four-storey house. The developers were waiting on the death of the sitting tenant and, frustratingly, for them, she was sitting on one of those frail constitutions that never quite say die. Then she did and in they came with their wood-effect fitted kitchens, their avocado bathroom suites and their vats of magnolia emulsion.

    Two days after the great makeover started, I was wakened in the night by a sound. It was somewhere between the dry leaves of autumn trees rustling in a wind and what I imagine a thousand children simultaneously unwrapping sweets in a darkened cinema would be like. It was coming from the living room. I wandered down the corridor towards it.

    As I opened the door, in the faint orange glow bathing the room from the street light outside, it seemed as if the floor had become a small interior sea, rippling with movement. I stood there for a moment utterly bewildered. Then I reached out for the light switch.

    To my horror and disgust. the carpet was covered in scurrying black cockroaches. Literally covered. And the sudden light and my presence had turned their movements into a frenzy.

    The builders must have disturbed a nest in the flat above and now they were looking for a new home. They had found mine.

    It took several days to rid my flat of the infestation. During that time, each night was a repeat of the first. It took about six months for me to return to restful sleep. Then the flat was sold to a rather overweight young American woman who, it turned out, liked to have energetic sex in the shower above my bedroom after a night out partying. Her exuberance, coupled with her weight, proved too much for the cowboy installed shower tray leading to several nights of water streaming onto my pillow. Fortunately, her triple forte moans meant that I was already awake to meet the ingress.

    How I came to miss those gentle, neighbourly cockroaches.

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