Best of WRITE: Itch

We’ve all had our share of psycho roommates but one who brings home bedbugs is over the top. Some will do anything to stop the itch, even throw out all worldly possessions.

By Vico LaCava - vicolacava@gmail.com Photos ©Vico LaCava

 From Cover 2

Itch photo©Vico LaCava

Had there been, descending onto the street curb where I was standing, a literal monsoon of acid rain, or golf ball sized hail, or maybe scalding ash from a nearby colossal fire, or perhaps Jesus himself, sitting on a cloud, taking a shit, sandals dangling, I’d be able to associate a cliché, yet visual memory to correspond with the initial feeling of profound devastation born to the stark loss of every physical possession I have ever owned. But this night was perfect, the Chihuahuas barked, and I stood alone in the monstrous shadow of a heaping, teetering pile of my complete material life.

There was my mattress, and my memory foam pillows, and my headboard, and my dresser, and my desk, and my hand painted lampshade from my friend who moved away to some snowy town I’ll probably never visit; there was my grandma’s table (she’s dead), four chairs she upholstered herself, and a big TV, and a frayed suitcase that had traveled the world. There was everything I had ever collected and there was a dump truck coming in the morning.

Itch photo©Vico LaCava

My new roommate with fake boobs brought in a very real, very disgusting, very advanced bed bug infestation. She and her boyfriend were casual about it, keeping calamine stocked, scratching each other’s pink, fleshy welts, smashing the parasites when they crawled on the walls, not flinching, leaving my blood to dry under the carcasses. I lived with this for sixteen weeks, getting completely hammered nightly to ensure, like, an hour or two of that thing that’s kind of like sleep on top of a mattress encased in plastic. I researched endlessly bed bug murder and tried everything I could, but continued to wake up with ruthless bites from my neck to my ankles. Not even my boyfriend is allowed to do that.

It occurred to me that this could only end happily if I threw everything I ever owned away and moved out, and I kind of cried over that, sure, but I cried even more at the belligerent, beautiful liberation it channeled. One day, I dragged everything I owned to the curb, and my things flowed off of the curb and into the gutter, and I called a dump truck and arranged for it to come in the morning before I could change my mind. I was biting back.

So there I stood on a street curb adjacent to the tangible proof of my whole life’s existence, my trophies of years conquered, my shiny, well designed components of basic matter, and it occurred to me: these things are my possessions. They possess my being with greed and status and chains. They are just things, made by man, destroyed by man, and I do not need them, and never have.

I am now living in a new apartment where I paint rainbows on the wall and smoke bacon on the balcony and itch madly to tell you my story.


One Response to “Best of WRITE: Itch”

  1. Myron says:

    Enjoyed this story. Great ending and truth to be reaped ftom it. Nicely done.