The Incredible Husk

My dear friend Amy scolded me yesterday for not posting every single day. Since she is single-handedly responsible for taking down WaMu, I am fearful and must comply. So I am writing even though I am tired and a tad tipsy. It is also raining like a mother at the moment, which I love. We never got rain like this in LA, and certainly not every week.

So, what don’t I like about North Carolina? There has to be something…right? OHHHHHH yes. Of course there are things here that make me cringe or make be crazy. My top three:

  • Cigarettes
  • Roaches
  • Mosquitoes

I realize that I am in tobacco country…but, damn! Every other person here seems to smoke. Half of my employees are running down to the smoking area every second they have free. People smoke in their cars, in restaurants, on sidewalks…everywhere. It is so delightful to sit next to someone in a meeting after they’ve sucked down a couple mere seconds before, or have the guy at the table next to you at dinner light up. Apparently the negative health effects of smoking are way overpowered by the lure of tobacco history here in NC.

Roaches. Oh god. Seriously I have seen roaches in every city I have ever lived…but there is something frightening about the ones here. I will never forget the first roach I saw in Madison. Every restaurant along State Street had them and it got to be a game to get them to scurry away before we opened in the mornings. In Austin, they were large and had wings. In California, they were gross and icky, yet not incredibly large and somehow harmless. In Manila they were just expected and part of the landscape, (although a friend found one on his arm in a taxi once, and I NEVER was able to relax in a cab again!). Here though, they are huge and black and scary. I have seen two since moving here and you would have thought there had been a dozen and they were crawling on me. I am still sooooo creeped out. Yuck (shiver), yuck. I actually prefer the dead rat falling from the ceiling.

Now, down to the absolute bane of my existence! The mosquitoes here are ruthless and are unquestionably out for blood. Michael thought I was exaggerating until we were over at the House on night before dinner and I was smacking at myself frantically. In five minutes I was bit 19 times. The bites immediately swell up and I look like I have some weird and horribly contagious disease. The other day we were out painting and we sprayed me down three times and they were STILL biting me. My hand, my legs, my face; they are not particular where my blood comes from. Michael said that the mosquitoes are just going to suck me dry and leave me as a husk of myself. That will be me…the Incredible Husk.

All in all, I think the sacrifice is worth it. That is, until a roach touches me.