Sued51's Blog

{February 14, 2011}   Scatter in New York

In our early twenties, Jane and I were part of a group of four who spent a lot of time together: me, Jane, Julie, and Sandy.  Our group did the usual things —  we went to the movies or out to eat and we went to clubs to see some favorite bands.  Several  times we went to NY City to visit Jane’s friend Jackie (the actor) and we went to clubs there or went shopping and sight-seeing.  Jackie was kind enough to let us stay with him; he had a small apartment, as befits a struggling actor, with almost no furniture.  When we visited, we slept on the floor in the living room.

We all knew there were cockroaches.  Every time we wanted to use the bathroom, we would flip on the light and let the roaches scurry back to their hiding places before we stepped in.  We laughed about their “scattering” since we didn’t live there and didn’t have to put up with them all the time. It was no reflection on Jackie; the apartment was not dirty, it was just the way it was.

One particular trip (when Sandy wasn’t with us and Jackie had gone to work — he was the obligatory waiter between acting jobs) we were sleeping late on the living room floor, arranged like the spokes of a wheel because it was easier to talk when we were falling asleep.  Jane suddenly screamed and sat bolt-upright.  Julie and I both woke up grumbling, “what’s the matter?”

“There was a cockroach on my face!” Jane exhaled dramatically.

“I don’t think so, Jane,” I murmured.

“You must have been dreaming,” Julie mumbled.

Jane was wide awake.  “No, it was on my face!” she insisted.  Julie and I started to snicker, figuring Jane was being a drama queen.  She snatched her pillow off the floor — there it was.

“I knew it!” she affirmed, jumping to her feet.  Julie and I were on our feet less than 30 seconds after her.  Jane was whipping her hair long before Willow Smith.  “Oh my god…I hope there aren’t any more…” she squirmed.

“Well, I won’t be going back to sleep now,” I announced.

“Neither will I,” Julie seconded.

“What shall we do then?” I threw out.

“Let’s go to breakfast and go shopping,” Julie suggested.  Jane was still periodically shivering and shaking sporadically.

It was a cloudy cool day and we didn’t have umbrellas, but we started walking anyway.  It wasn’t long before it started to rain, hard.  Everyone without umbrellas began to run for doorways and covered bus stops.  Someone (I don’t remember which of us) said, “Look, it’s like the people are cockroaches when you turn on the bathroom light!” 

Then Jane began to sing spontaneously like a character in a move musical, “Scatter in NY…they scatter, they scatter in NY…”  Julie and I joined in and we sang in harmony.  Soon we were laughing and Jane’s traumatic encounter with the cockroach was behind us.

et cetera
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