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03. On Rooms and Battles

May 23, 2011

There’s nothing like moving a whole passel of boxes to make a girl feel like:

1. A total weakling

while simultaneously;

2. A strong independent woman

It also forces you to realize that you have too many shirts, and no, sewing more shirts and dresses is not the answer.

Luckily, my new room is fantastic. When this house was built, the room was obviously intended for two people. The north wall is slanted and wood-paneled with a built-in desk and chest of drawers with two little alcoves on either side for the roommates to work. Though the biggest room in the house, it’s only licensed for one person. Fine by me –  this means that I also have (wait for it) two closets. One for business/work attire, one for everything else. Awwww yeaaaaaah.

The rest of the house follows this kind of…rustic, cabin-up-north, wood-paneled theme. Except for the kitchen.

The kitchen makes No. Damn. Sense.

I can only assume that whoever was building this house in the 50s had assumed it would be a diner, or built only restaurants in the past, or had just gotten two sets of blueprints confused and went “Fuck it,” and installed a massive stainless-steel industrial prep counter, mint-green aluminum cabinets, and called it a day. Or maybe this is just how people lived back then. But I’m not going to complain about the counter space.

Earlier I mentioned my room was fully furnished. Somewhat. By this I mean it has a built-in chest of drawers desk, closets, and a mirror. No bed, but the room’s previous tenant left me —

The Futon.

I’ve never owned a futon, but they seem alright. I’ve spent a fair amount of time on a futon in Dearborn when visiting friends there, and it treated me well. Not to mention, I sleep better on couches than on actual beds.

But this death-machine will be my nemesis for the next three months, that much I can already tell.

The first night, I woke up too early in the morning with that nasty sensation of being unable to breathe properly due to chest pain — something to do with the acute angle the Futon wedges me into in my sleep. Like no, Mari, you don’t deserve to breathe. The beast annihilated my spinal cord the way Voldemort annihilated Harry’s parents.

Since that first night, I’ve maneuvered the foam padding underneath into a sort of folded roll to give it a more sofa and less death-machine shape. Though still not the pinnacle of comfort, I no longer feel like Bin Laden after Seal Team Six raided his compound.

Admittedly, having Seal Team Six destroy me is probably preferable to the daily, agonizing paranoia of finding ants in my bedroom. When I was first looking at the house, my upstairs roommate Kellie told me that they had a “minor ant problem.” What this has meant for me is that I’ve found one ant in my bedroom every day that I’ve lived here.

I’m starting to think it’s the same ant over and over again and when I kill him, he simply finds a new spawn point in my bedroom to torment me the next day. I’ve named him Ted.

Ted the Ant greeted me on my first night as I was on the phone with my friend Kata. I was playing a mindless videogame and had the lights off when I looked to my comforter  (draped over The Futon, no less). What I thought was at first a black ball of fuzz in the dim light quickly started moving, dangerously close to my head. Half-screaming, I ended up on the floor, fumbling for the light switch on the opposite wall, and Ted the Ant and I engaged in a staring contest. There was a brief moment of panic where I though I’d lost him, but I finally threw him to the floor and crushed him to death with a pack of note cards (the best insect-killing tool, I’ve discovered). Goodnight, sweet prince…

Since then, Ted the Ant and I have had encounters on the ceiling, the bathroom floor, and most recently, the TV screen. I hesitate to gloat, but I think I’ve won most of these battles. Still, I have a feeling this summer will be an endless battle of death, rebirth, and general violence against insects.

“In war there is no substitute for victory.” – Douglas MacArthur

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