I can see the cockroaches scampering across the linoleum kitchen floor just like it was yesterday. Maddie hearing me scream in horror and running to my rescue. Noticing the mammoth size bugs, she attempts to bite them before they escape behind the oven again, but she loses them.
It happened rather often so I became able to brush it off and walk into the kitchen anyway, looking for food I didn't have in the cabinets. Open the refrigerator as well, hoping there was some takeout still fresh enough to eat. Usually there was nothing.
So I either walked to Rita's water-ice down the street or to CVS to grab random snacks -- neither of these usual choices satisfied my hunger but they somehow satisfied my discontent with my living situation.
I had chosen this, though. I lived with a boyfriend before this. A boyfriend who was two years my junior but somehow made a killing at work and also had parents that were beyond gracious with sharing their wealth with him; with us. Sometimes after his mother visited, I would find $100 bills hidden in his bedside table or in the kitchen behind one of our knick-knacks; a reminder that she loved him. Maybe that she loved us? But I didn't. I probably resented his ability to be financially awesome and I definitely grew jealous of his overly loving and present parents. I also hated myself for being so ridiculously irresponsible with my money, usually unable to pay my half of the rent for our apartment.
As the smoke fumes of anger and frustration began circling my head on a daily basis, I decided to move out. And live on my own. Without him as my "crutch" I would have to force myself to be independent and financially stable. That's what I told myself.
So I moved what I owned (which was very little at this point because he had convinced me to sell my couch and bed when we moved in together because he, and I, didn't forsee an ending at that point) into my new shitty apartment down the street and painted it green and blue. I found couches on craigslist. I convinced him to allow me to keep the bed from our guest room. I bought the TV he didn't want off of him and attempted to set up shop, or home, or whatever I thought I wanted at the time.
There was one big issue at first--the smell of cats. No doubt the previous renter owned about 12.
I'm a dog person. Cats instantly make me want to grab my purse and my coat and run for the nearest door. I feel that they're always this close to gouging your eyes out or hissing until you cry. I've never allowed one to get close enough to me to prove me wrong.
So, I went mad with home deodorizers. I shampooed the rugs. It took a while but I finally felt subtly content with the smell of the place after about a month.
It began to feel like home.
Until I realized that loneliness was annoying and heavy. Physically being alone was terrifying. I felt desperate and pathetic. I began spending money to make me feel happy. But happiness was fleeting.
And then the cockroaches arrived.
At first I was convinced there was just one. And I killed it! I felt victorious and strong for a few days.
Then two or three arrived at a time and always escaped right before my sneaker smacked the kitchen floor with a murderous power.
----to be continued