the loft walk

Subtitled: Now I Know
I thought I was such hot stuff last year when I managed to have an awesome loft ready for the Loft Walk just one week after moving in. Jessica demolished my record by moving in the day before the Loft Walk. I have been here one year. She has been here one day. And her loft is cooler than mine.
That’s not to say it’s been an easy week for either of us.
The goat-sacrificing, Satan-worshipping neighbors were supposed to be out by the end of April. On Friday evening, they told my landlord, Justin, that they would need until Monday.
They finally turned over the key (which turned out to be the wrong one), at 9 p.m. Monday.
This made for a very tight schedule. We knew it would need repainting because of their chain smoking. What we did not know about was the roaches.
Roaches, roaches, roaches.
Dawn, who owns the beauty shop downstairs and helps Justin in any way she can, left a voicemail on my work phone Tuesday to let me know about the roach situation and to tell me that in 15 minutes, Justin would be bombing Jessica’s apartment and did I want to bomb mine, because the roaches would probably start heading that way.
Of course, I didn’t get back to the office and listen to her voicemail until about 45 minutes after said bombing. So Justin herded the roaches to my apartment, more or less, just as St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland.
The first four-hour bombing was only slightly effective. Justin set off another four-hour bomb. At 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jessica and I finally entered the loft without the Canadian potheads in it and found a smelly, filthy, roach-infested disaster.
Between painting and stomping on roaches, we discussed the likelihood of the loft being ready for the Loft Walk Saturday (today). We decided it would be a stressful week, but it could be done.
Wednesday, Jessica called Justin and told him she felt he should hire a professional exterminator. He did, but they couldn’t come until Thursday afternoon. Their work helped clean up most of the infestation. We killed a handful after that, and I remember telling Jessica that a few little roaches wasn’t that bad. Heck, I had giant bugs crawling out of the pipe in my bathroom in China, so she could deal with a few roaches for a couple of weeks until the exterminator returns to spray.
The week was a blur. We got very, very little sleep. We finished painting trim and doors and every surface, pretty much, some time Friday night. I had to give my loft a good cleaning, so I was AWOL for some of the moving.
I thought I saw a roach scurry into my baseboards as Jessica’s friends were putting her cast-off bookshelf in my apartment. Jessica told me I had to have imagined it. I came back later and made a confirmed kill. I completely freaked about it too. I had been obsessing about that roach sighting from the moment of my first suspicion to the execution.
So now I know how stupid it was to say, "Just a couple of roaches," when I clearly have such issues with those things myself.
Jessica’s friends helped move her furniture, but with the last load, her friend Corey couldn’t start his truck.
This was around the 2 a.m. mark.
Corey borrowed Jessica’s car so he could return to Springfield and get to work today.
Throughout it all, I can’t count the number of times we shook our heads, certain her place would not be ready for the Loft Walk.
Here we are. And both of our lofts are fantastic.
I Interpret What People Say Upon Entering My Loft
"They’re all so…different…" – Mine is the last loft she looked at, so this comment means the other two were awesome lofts and mine sucks and this is the nicest word she can come up with.
"Now this is the smaller unit, isn’t it?" – I don’t have to interpret that one for you. I will add some background. It was from an old lady who kept obsessing over who carried up the groceries. If you don’t have a husband to do it for you, how on earth do you do anything?
"…sorry. It’s nicely decorated, though." – I snuck in behind her talking to her group about my loft. I didn’t catch the first part of what she said, whatever she was sorry for. I can interpret the look on her face, and that coupled with the "sorry" equals a criticism that she didn’t think the resident would hear.
"Are you the only one who lives here? Oh, it’s perfect for being single, then." – Again, no interpretation needed. But maybe rum is needed.
And One More Thing…
I have two irrational fears. One is sharing my home with subhuman creatures (mice, roaches, etc.). The other is tiny cuts.
A tiny, seemingly innocent cut can become infected. Say you get a blister on your heel and it becomes infected. You could lose your entire foot, or even your leg.
Now imagine that last Sunday, your middle finger on your right hand, where you almost always wear a ring, begins inexplicably itching. You scratch and scratch, but the itching won’t stop. Of course, it has something to do with your allergies, but you don’t care because at this moment you just want your finger to stop itching.
You scratch until you have scratched off a patch of skin. And still it itches.
About a week later, you are painting and working in a filthy area. You get paint all over that little scratch. You realize your finger is sore and the open wound is puffy and inflamed.
Naturally, your first thought is that you will have to have your finger amputated.
You turn to Jessica for some reassurance that this is irrational.
She tells you about some lady she goes to church with, Nubby, who had a minor cut on her finger that she didn’t take care of and now she has a nub.
You freak out.
Thanks a lot, Jessica. I’m still worried about my finger after multiple alcohol and peroxide treatments followed by bandaging with triple antibiotic ointment.
Here’s the deal, if my finger is so infected that I would have to have it amputated, I’m going to decline and let my entire body turn septic and die. I don’t want to have to carry all those groceries up the stairs with a nub.

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