Friday, September 14, 2012

Great. I've got bedbugs. Just great.

They could have come from the dryers at these laundry programs. Or some clothing bank stuff. Or some nice luggage I scavenged on garbage day.

Good thing there's programs for poor people to get free mattresses, and free help with cleanup, and replacement clothes and stuff... or at least, that's what the public probably thinks. The reality is, I have no way of carrying out the steps to remove these pests. I can replace my mattress and all my bedding, and somehow sleep somewhere else while I clean and seal the room, but bottom line, I am screwed. They will come back. Getting the place sprayed involves me telling my landlord I have bedbugs. My landlord will assume I'm the source and find some way to evict me. My roommates will move out and add my apartment to the online listings of places that have bedbugs, so the only roommates I'll be able to get will be the kind who bring more bedbugs. That's probably how I got it in the first place. When somebody moves into my place to escape an infestation in their last place, and is dumb enough to bring their stuff with them, why would they tell me they were infested in the first place? When I have to move out and find a new spot, am I going to go around telling all my potential landlords about how hard I'm trying to ensure that my bedbugs don't follow me to the new place? Am I going to leave "warning: bedbugs" signs on all the stuff I'm throwing out, and risk notifying the whole area that my building has bugs? Good thing there's free services that offer quick removal in these kinds of situations... at least, that's probably what the public thinks. The reality is, as I said: I'm screwed. And so is my landlord, and so are my roomies, and probably so are my neighbours. In fact, I may have gotten this from my neighbours. Or my roommates, who got it from my neighbours. And this is why the bedbug problem is so bad. Because somehow we can't have a little washer and dryer in our little apartment. Because there's none that are small enough to just be for one person. I can't have a tiny little washer and dryer set that's the size of my laundry hamper, and would replace it. Why do we store dirty laundry? Why not just toss it in a washer that's also a dryer and is just meant for one outfit or jacket or blanket at a time? Oh right because we're all supposed to be in family units, sharing everything. What is with that? Why does policy in Canada always have to ignore everyone who's not living with three or more relatives?

So here we go. I'll have to secure a bedbug-free space to sleep while I carry out the operation. I'll have to replace absolutely every piece of furniture I have, and almost all my clothing. I'll even have to replace some of my electronics. So it's almost winter and I'm worse than homeless: I have a home that I can't stay in and have to do tons of work on, while also having no budget for anything at all. A typical poverty situation.

I should have saved my community startup money for furniture and bedding instead of pots, pans, cleaning supplies, and paying bills. When they still did community start-up. I should try to run myself up against the brick wall that is the housing stabilization fund or whatever bullshit replaced start-up. But I do not have time to do that. I have an infestation to remove, and I have to do it before it gets way way way too cold to be homeless.

It'll take at least two weeks to set up an alternate place to sleep, so I'll have to deal with getting fed on every single night until then.

If I'm lucky, it'll only take two weeks to do the cleanup and removal of stuff. Then I can grab a new mattress and bedding. Which means I'll have no grocery budget at all, so I'll have to get all my food from soup kitchens and food banks, which is a 5 hour a day job, so maybe it'll be more like a month to get everything taken care of, not two weeks. So yeah. I'm screwed. I'm 100% screwed. And so was whoever passed this on to me. And I've probably already passed it on to my roommates.

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