As you may know, New York City is having a bedbug problem. I happen to be in Manhattan at the moment. I was simply tickled when I read the news of how the city has decided to deal with the problem.
Yesterday, a member of the Mayor’s team stood on the steps of City Hall, and issued a proclamation, using strong language to warn the bedbug population of NYC that their days are numbered. Bedbugs throughout the city shook in fear…and then continued sucking people’s blood.
I have a lot of empathy for the city officials, for I, too, have issued my share of proclamations in the past year. I have issued bold statements warning certain blood-sucking pests to get out of my life, all of which similarly have been ignored and mocked.
About a year-and-a-half ago, I left a long-term relationship. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that I was the bad guy. I left suddenly for another woman, the day after my ex returned home from a hospital stay. Pretty bad, huh? My behavior certainly helped my ex make a compelling case for casting me as a complete cad.
Of course, I’ve got my side of the story, but I’m not going to tell it. I’m content to be the bad guy. I figure it’s the price I have to pay for exiting a relationship that just wasn’t working. She’s the victim, and I’m the villain. I’m fine with that.
In the split, I lost my beloved dog, my home, and some friends, as well as a comfortable, safe existence. She got the house. I got the cottage with the bad roof and carpenter ant infestation.
Since the breakup, I’ve lived in exile. I moved away, and holed up in a remote location, waiting for the emotional storms to pass. Only recently have I begun to emerge from my bunker. After almost two years, I figured it was safe to emerge, and reclaim my place in society. Apparently, I was wrong.
As soon as I popped my head out of the bunker, I began drawing enemy fire. I received odd items in the mail, which were sent anonymously; creepy e-mails; and then, most recently, crank calls. Yes, crank calls! From middle-aged women.
After I left, several people in our small community rallied ’round my ex, which is perfectly understandable. She was the injured party, and needed support. I kept my distance, and kept my side of the story to myself.
I figured that after the initial burst of sympathy for my ex and antipathy for me, everyone would get caught up in the drama of their own lives, and forget about me. But I underestimated the commitment some lesbians have to stoking the eternal flame of dyke drama.
I ignored their nonsense at first, because I still felt guilty about leaving, and accepted the punishment as my due. Later, after I got over the survivor’s guilt, I simply felt it would be stupid to respond.
Honestly, what does one say to a middle-aged person who is crank calling you? Is there an appropriate response?
But, finally came the last straw, as there always is, so I decided to take action. What I did was kick out my tenant, and move into my broken-down cottage, smack in the middle of enemy territory.
I stood on my front porch, and bravely squeaked out a proclamation to the neighborhood pests, warning them that their days are numbered. They shook in fear…and then, they exploded firecrackers in my mailbox.
So, it looks like NYC and I will be dealing with nasty pests for longer than we expected.