Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fear Factor NYC Style

A dear friend of mine just called me in a state of panic that I have never heard in her. She recently moved into a one-bedroom apartment "with character," meaning it's old and beautiful but needs some work. However, when she called me she was not in the apartment. She made me promise not to make fun of her before admitting that she was pacing on the street in front of her building, freaking out over a roach-sighting in her bathroom.

"I just grabbed my wallet and my phone and ran out the door. I don't even think I have my keys. Tell me what to do. Tell me what I can do RIGHT NOW!!"

I'm cracking up while also sympathizing, since it was around this time last year that I had my own roach problems. After a little coaxing, she went across the street to a store to buy Raid. After a lot more coaxing she made her way back into the house, demanding that I not get off the phone with her until she was ready. I never imagined this friend to be one who screamed, squealed, and repeated "omigosh" over and over in a high-pitched whisper. In fact, as she entered her apartment, she whispered quite a bit. I asked, "Are you trying to be quiet so you won't scare the roach away?", but she didn't even hear it over her fear.

She reminded me so much of those contestants on Fear Factor, nearly hyperventilating and trying to calm herself down with rational phrases that worked for all of three seconds before deteriorating into madness once more. When she went back into her bathroom, the roach was gone. She told me every step she was taking looking for it. "I'm moving my couch, I'm looking at the crack by the radiator, I'm looking by my books," then at the sound of my laughter, "Shut up, just shut the fuck up!"

Alas, the roach was never to be found. I laughed myself to tears in my safe apartment in Queens, while several miles away in Brooklyn my friend tried to get up the courage to take a shower. My friend, who has travelled all over the world, gone on lengthy backpacking trips, slept outside for days on end, and done many more things that most will never have the courage to do, has just been terrified by a roach with "the longest whiskers you've ever seen."

I will never let her live this down...

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