The Sketch Book

An Impossible Story, Chapter 2

hell hath no fury like a woman with bedbugs…

When my fiancé returned that evening, the scene he entered into was one of sheer annihilation. I was the focal point of this scene.

He had just unsuspectingly walked into a frenzied eighth circle of hell, bursting with unlabeled, bulging black trash bags filled with everything in no apparent order and I was at the center of this tornado, sweating, clutching a wad of more black trash bags lunging at piles of unregulated mess ferociously. The majority of our books, our picture frames, our winter parkas, his tuxedo, my hunter boots, pretty much everything was already haphazardly stuffed together into approximately 30 XXL bags, lining the already claustrophobically narrow entry hall, forcing him to inch, foot over foot with his back pressed to the wall to even enter the space.

Our couch frame stood naked, it’s fate sealed. I had already crammed all the seat cushions into trash bags and dragged them down four flights of stairs and flung them in the general direction of the trash cans behind our building without pausing to consider if they could be salvaged with insecticide and dry-cleaning.

You see, at this point I was in full-dump mode. I should admit, I am always hovering on the edge of full-dump mode, I get great joy from throwing things out. I once threw out a coworker’s entire supply of gift-with-attendance tote bags the company had produced for an event, because I just had to clean up… the night before the event. So imagine how intensely, and how short-sightedly, I was purging our space given the news at hand.

Anyway, my fiancé, looking white-faced and positively stricken, asked me what I thought I was doing. I should mention that he has never once gotten mad at me in the six years I’ve known him, but on this night, in this room, his face said it all. He wasn’t mad exactly, but I think it would be safe to say he was questioning my sanity without taking any liberties here.

“WE HAVE TO KILL THE COUCH!” I explained.

Apparently this did not clear up what was going on so he asked again why I was wrecking our home. In broken english and asthmatically heaving sentences i managed to express the crisis at hand. He tried the logical route of asking a few key questions like “coudlnt we do this over the weekend?” or “let’s slow down and make a plan” but clearly we were well past that stage as I rebutted his every calm suggestion with grunts of anguish riddled with language usually reserved for underground dogfighting rings.

So there we were – I remember it as being like something out of a scene from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – where the frames slow to a standstill, like we’re floating in midair, karate fighters having just narrowly missed each other with tornado kicks. We are just floating there, eyes locked in a stand off. Would we stop and make a plan or would I win and would we keep ransacking our home?

And then the movie sped back up to real time, he took a deep breath, dropped his work bag and said, “Let’s kill the couch.”

Don’t you just love him? This is why our marriage is going to work.

We turned towards the Evil Loveseat in unison and stared at it momentarily, drinking in it’s negative energy. “come and get me” it seemed to whisper coyly. Knowing full well that we’d never figure out it’s complicated Ikea design and get it to fold back down into it’s original form in order to drag it out our very narrow, trash bag filled hallway.

After a few minutes of trying to disassemble it while yelling at it and at each other, we realized there is really only one way to kill a couch. The World’s Greatest Future Husband, who happens to conveniently be a Parkour expert, backed up a few paces and with a running start threw his entire body weight, feet first, at the couch.

Things, once again, turned very Hidden Dragon

He was airborne for a moment and then CRACK his foot hit the back board and the entire thing snapped in half.

Take that, Evil Loveseat! Can you believe it?! We were really doing it! We were finally exacting revenge on the loveseat!

Once it was pronounced legally dead, we gingerly picked up the carcass and together we carried it down the stairs to the street where we left the body to rot. I will never again walk within ten feet of any furniture left out on the NYC sidewalks. I had previously believed people were just lazy about selling old furniture and put it outside for the trash collectors instead of craigs-listing it… au contraire mon frere… that furniture is almost 100% positively brimming with bed bugs. proceed with caution.

Later that night, after fluctuating between anger and despair, body wracked with spasms of sobbing, we decided to cheat on bedbug master’s instructions to remain in the vipers nest for another second and checked into a hotel. As I lay in the strange room, with only the clothes on my back, worry coursing through me, a bright spot appeared on the horizon of my misery.

My mother. She arrives next week for my first wedding gown fitting.

Nancy to the rescue. Bedbugs may be ancient, intensely secretive and mysterious creatures intent upon only consuming the blood of sleeping humans and raping each other after feeding, determined to become pregnant with more blood guzzling rapists but they are no match for my mother, the queen of the wallpapered garage. She will know what to do. She will reign supreme.

My last thought as I drifted into troubled sleep was wondering which of the 30 XXL trash bags contained my wedding shoes for the fitting. And of my mother dressed like an ancient Chinese Warrior poised in midair with a sword pointed at a giant bug…

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