Categories
CORE STORIES

TO ETHICAL VEGANS – a story about my daughter Rose

Yes, I will kill a blood-sucking bedbug and not bat an eye – if it enters my space for the purpose of disrupting my life and making me and my family suffer.


I was given bedbugs a few years ago. A new manager showed up – Ms. Z…and proceeded to instruct Orkin on the war plan against these parasitic blood-suckers. Most everybody had them and if they didn’t they got them.

I remember the Orkin guy telling me to expect them coming in from all directions. They funneled them into my apartment. That was the plan. It took me a month to complete all the instructions on the list given to all tenants, for the purpose of preparing the units for Orkin to come in and spray.

Many tenants didn’t prepare; they just let Orkin come in and spray around them, believing, without actually knowing, what Orkin and apartment management told them, that they used organic solutions harmless to humans and dogs.

Many others didn’t have the amount of furniture or office files that I did, so it didn’t take them as long and they certainly didn’t go to a motel the day they sprayed.

Any item which I thought could hide a bedbug or a cluster of bedbugs, rather than take any chances, went into the dumpster. I made many trips to that dumpster. Even the file cabinet went, the DVD/CD stereo went. No more music for us. Furniture went, blankets, clothes I had stored in closets.

I did copious shredding of private notes, that were nobody’s business and served as raw material from which I used to write my essays and commentary. If we’re gone overnight anybody had access. We didn’t have a security system back then. I could always tell when somebody had entered nosing around. I could smell their cologne or sweat.

I went through every nook and cranny of my living space.

And yes, it did disrupt my life, Steve’s and Rose’s.

The bites; yes there were many. The itching and scratching was torturous.

Each time they spayed, Steve and I with Rose went to a motel for the night.

I killed many bedbugs – on the ceiling, the upper walls, the doorways, the lower walls – leaving a smudge mark where they died, so the Orkin people could see their pattern of entry. They were even rising up from the carpet – in several locations – in every room that had carpet.

The manager, Ms. Z…, was brutal in her approach, even threatened me with eviction because in her words I wasn’t cooperating. “Those are your bedbugs”, she kept saying, “you’re hurting the rest of the tenants by not letting us in”.

To prepare? As the instructions told me to do? Is that how I wasn’t cooperating, Ms. Z…?

I don’t know how much more I could have cooperated. I wanted to know what they were spraying and they wouldn’t provide it. I have a neurological disorder and don’t want to be breathing in poisons. Finally, after much arguing on the phone to all parties, Orkin conceded and sent me print-outs of what was sprayed in the building, not in my apartment.

What was sprayed in my apartment was evidently secret and controlled by the defense department, since they use those sprays for biological warfare? And too much trouble for them to figure it out? To prevent lawsuits?

The ones doing the spraying simply picked up their canisters at Orkin not knowing what was in them and proceeded to spray? They kept giving me the same line about the solutions being harmless to humans and dogs.

The last time they sprayed, after they had sealed all the cracks where the ceilings meet the walls and drilled into door and baseboard mouldings depositing poisons, Steve and I with Rose left for the motel, once again.

Orkin went in and as the maintenance guy told me when I returned home the next day, “we sprayed and bombed the ‘shit’ out of your apartment. We coughed so hard we had to leave”.

As I sat on the couch I kept feeling the residue from the spray on my face and could even taste it. i started breathing only through my nose. The apartment had a light haze throughout. Every single item in my living space had been sprayed and bombed. Kitchen too, everything.

That was the end of that.

Not quite though.

In researching the compounds listed, I discovered that the spray and/or bombs they use cause dehydration in the bedbugs rendering them unable to procreate and to eventually die.

I was concerned with my thirst – so thirsty, unquenchable thirst. Nothing I could do about it but keep drinking, keep washing my skin. The membranes in my nose and throat were dry all the time. My lips were sticking together. I was coughing incessantly. My face always looked dehydrated, my arms looked the same.

The Orkin guy who previously worked in New York city told me he used compounds for the last spray not usually approved, but they funneled so many bedbugs into my apartment, that he decided to use it. “Don’t worry”, he said, “you’ll never have a bedbug problem again – maybe a few stragglers that should only require some baseboard spraying.

While in the elevator one day, I was talking to another tenant, and he said, “so you finally got them?”.

“Yeah, an army of them”, I replied.

That wasn’t the end of it. I noticed Rose drinking more water. Lots of it. She wasn’t as hungry as usual. This went on and on for months. She got weaker and weaker. Was always walking to the water bowl in search of water.

She started sleeping closer to me at night, letting me wrap my arms around her and cradle her body against mine as I slept on my side.

I’d hear her getting up several times to go for water. She started having problems walking. She could no longer simply go to the bowl and drink.

She had to turn around, and around slowly, till she was close enough to the bowl to sit where she could also reach the bowl to drink from it. It was like an engineering feat each time she did it, judging distance and how many turns she’d have to make.

For months she did that round-about to lower herself to the bowl so she could sit while drinking, instead of stand as she always previously did. I can still see her do that in my mind’s eye. She was losing strength rapidly.

Steve and I had the discussion, about euthanizing her. Maybe we waited too long. Steve was getting anxious about it and we quarreled often.

One day I decided to take the grocery cart from downstairs that was available for tenant use. I lined it with pillows and blankets, building it up high enough to elevate her, so Rose could see what was around her.

I put it aside, ready for when we’d have to take that final walk with her. Then waited longer – how long I don’t recall.

When I thought it was getting close to letting-go-time, Steve and I decided we should take Rose outside for a drive in the cart. Let her feel the fresh air and breeze on her fragile body, let her see all her surroundings that were familiar to her for so long one more time. We also used it as a dry run to the Vet’s office which wasn’t far away, so when we took her the final time, that trip would also be familiar to her.

On the way home, I had Steve take one last picture of Rose, our daughter with me, her adopted mother. Yes, Rose adopted us as much as we adopted her.

Still we waited, and we tried not to quarrel in front of Rose. I told Steve that when it was time, Rose would tell me. She hadn’t yet. Steve trusted that, knowing how close we were. Each night in bed I would talk to her telepathically, knowing she could hear my soothing thoughts while I held her body close to mine.

I didn’t sleep much back then.

One night Rose got up and tried to walk, sideways, as she had come to do. Half way to the drinking bowl she let out a blood-curdling scream in the dark that I will never forget and still hear in my mind’s ear. I knew then what we had to do.

The next morning we made haste. Wrapping her up and placing her in the grocery cart, we drove her to the Vet’s office, talking to her, soothing her all the way.

There were four of us in the room. Steve and I said our final goodbyes. Steve was too emotional to stay for the rest.

I stayed as the doctor took her head in her hands stroking her, then moved back out of view wanting Rose to only have eyes for her. Rose responded to the kindness.

The doctor left. I stayed until Rose wanted me to leave.

We left with an empty cart and two empty hearts.


Bedbug sprays meant to dehydrate the enemy dehydrated our daughter Rose resulting in a long slow painful death.

She set the terms however, right to the end, staying as long as she could before traveling to the great beyond. I am so proud of her fight, her stamina, her adaptation, her will to survive. The most gentle being – to all creatures – who often stood in crowds among strangers, never showing fear or trepidation.

Rose was a working dog.


In the end, Ms. Z…called, spoke to Steve and told him to apologize to me for her behavior. She said, “tell your wife, I know they weren’t her bedbugs”. She was sorry about it all.

It wasn’t long after that she was either fired or quit. Some tenants thought she had been brought in specifically to wage war against the terrorists of the insect world.

Recently when Orkin entered to do prophylactic spraying for cockroaches, the guy sprayed right into Lilly Belle’s water dish as he glided his wand over it – had I not been there, I never would have known. The management is always telling us we don’t have to be there when they enter. Oh yes we do.

Of course I should have removed it, but I forgot and frankly was appalled when he saw what he did, then just moved onto the bathroom as if it was okay; “it won’t kill your dog”.

Oh yes it will.







Categories
ME

A Territorial Daughter

I’m a territorial daughter of a natural born engineer and a mother who possessed exceptional reading, intellectual and organizational talents, both of whom were savy enough to follow their own minds in their own ways. The two left a mark on me that nobody except me can own. Not even them.

~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight






 

Categories
CHAOS

THE WALL

CHAOS | CALM

THE WALL

Warm greens, more crystal than moss-like surround me with promises of days freshened by new life (because there must be new life if we are to survive) born from new ideas as window sills turn to marble, black and navy blue sparkles with smooth glass-like scents of velvet gray skin, waiting, always waiting, while the life of earth family and universe merge, exploding in tiny and gross serenity.

A drip here a spot there never far from longing, gnashing and never forgiving, because you can’t and the world blames you not – not even your most harmful enemy blames you when you turn against yourself, but their pain, in their eyes, is greater, because a wall rising from seemingly nowhere blocks their freedom – a wall of the mind more excruciating than being blown apart – for at least when a bomb goes off in your heart you can feel it.

A wall has no feeling and that is the most devastating enslavement of all.

I feel not – as the wall rises in God’s name, I think no God would require this of me.

I am a Jew, not because I was born of earth and salt and promised a land of milk and honey (ha! no God would enslave and torture the cow and the bee for a Jew), but because I know the wall. That’s what separates me from you. You’re free and I’m not. And I will never be free – until God removes the chains of revenge that keep me enslaved.

The difference between me and you is that even if I could remove those chains I wouldn’t. They keep me anchored, even if to a hell of my own making. I need the anchor of control revenge gives me. That is the only certainty in my life. If I am offended I can strike back in the most unmerciful ways to reclaim my position – a position I need in this chaotic world where Peoples have no homes.

It matters not that I take the home of another. And no, they don’t have the same right to respond. Why? Because my pain is greater than theirs. I am the favored one. I need to be favored. That’s part of the wall: the sickness of not feeling others’ pain. I have no compassion. That’s why Jews hate Jesus. He had what we lacked. At least I’m honest about it. They call me traitor for exposing their lie. One man was half of all of us. He reminded us of the half we were missing. We said, ‘We’ll take care of our own; that’s compassion’. But he said, ‘no, take care of others’. We couldn’t do as he offered, so we killed him. Or, we made it easy for somebody else to kill him.

A phone call is all it takes in today’s world. All Jews belong to the same network – throughout the world. No matter how seemingly menial the task, we’re all connected by the seed that makes us call ourselves who we are – different from you. And since different to us means better, and since we must survive as a superior race, we will use any means to accomplish that end. So, when the call comes to preserve the race, whether it’s a simple – alter a document request, or a much larger – poison the water – request, we know we were called because we are placed in a position to carry it out. If we’re asked we must comply. It’s like a Mafia family only much bigger.

If we’re in a leadership position we sense what to look for and what to attend to when something extraordinary presents itself. The phone is our weapon of choice. We can destroy any person in the world – or group or nation. We’re positioned to take over the entire world, while the most powerful nation on earth sits by and watches. Why? Because we’ve infiltrated that nation to such a successful extent that they’re paralyzed by our command of them. We’ve hypnotized the entire USA by our communications networks, so when we tell them to move or not to move they do just that. It’s not that the USA can stop Israel simply by telling them to stop; that’s only a ruse to make the USA appear strong – a fringe benefit, a perk. The USA has no authority over ‘Israel the people’.

Now this woman shows up claiming to be God’s daughter and at first we laughed, knowing she wasn’t a Jew, but she liked us – odd. And she knew us – odd. And she understood us – even more odd. So we tested her. If she is who she claims to be, then let her God rescue her from us. God didn’t rescue Jesus. But then Jesus has lived on because of it. What will God do with her? At first we didn’t think she was talking to God – only talking to herself. We didn’t think it was God responding – only her responding to herself. Then she showed how to find God’s message in our own answer, then went further to show us how to find God’s answer in a properly phrased question. We were intrigued and remain so. If not for her, we wouldn’t be in her essays. She cares enough not to exclude us.

Still…we torture her. We can’t help it. And no one will stop us. That’s the rub. We can’t stop ourselves. And everyone fears us enough not to try to stop us – even though through our actions we beg for it. How outrageous do we have to become before somebody takes action? She’s the only one who will stand up to us. And we destroy that which we love. The rub again. She should have been dead by now. But she keeps getting up, keeps bouncing back. It’s almost as if we enjoy her survival maneuvers – before, during and after each hit – that that in itself keeps us torturing her. If the world could only see, Hollywood would dry up. She should have called this essay ‘the rub’, not ‘the wall’. But we’re careful not to step on her writing. We leave that to the Feds, whom we also control. We are the Feds – another rub. That’s our common ground with her. If she’s not God’s daughter, she’s the closest thing this world will ever get to seeing God, while still alive.

~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight







Categories
WW ESSAYS

The Daughter Also Rises

Why do we call the sun, that which heats the earth, the sun?

Why do we assign any word to mean anything, something?

Sun sounds like son. Say it in your mind; they both sound the same.

“The Sun (Son) Also Rises”, as in Ernest Hemingway.

You can be sure of one thing, “the sun will rise tomorrow”.

How about, ‘the daughter will also rise?’ –  sounds more appropriate since the sun (son) already rose.

How about, you can be sure of one thing, “the daughter will rise tomorrow?”

Imagine, if you can, how the world would be different, if the scientists had named the sun (son) daughter.