Las Cucarachas, Heat, and a Languishing Reading List

(Found through Giornale Nuovo)

New York cockroaches are fairly over-played as a topic of conversation, but they deserve a mention here because they have reduced me to a sad state. My apartment is lovely as far as in-need-of-a-good-renovation brownstones go, but in the last 24 days of NY living, I have seen 3 cockroaches in my apartment, 1 dead, 1 living but not exceptional, 1 living, large, and sporting horrifyingly useful wings. Combined with the plain fact that my first year or so here is intended to be spent working long hours to make money which is to be quickly funneled into repaying student loans, I have not been left with much free mental space.

Instead of the reading, viewing, thinking, and writing that used to occupy my days, I now work, work, work, and then cower in my apartment trying to focus my mind while failing at ignoring the heat and keeping all senses alert for encroaching vermin.

I have managed to do some reading...and even more optimistic buying of books to be read. Currently on my reading desk are T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets; Julio Cortazar's Hopscotch (I'm working on the second hopscotch-y read-through); and The Whispering Woman by A. S. Byatt.
I recently finished Babel Tower, the third of the Frederica Potter series, and was underwhelmed. I suppose I loved Still Life so much that I was expecting a lot from the rest of the series, but it was still way too long and peopled with vastly uninteresting new characters.

Also on the docket: Volume 5 of Proust's Recherche (this is sad for I finished Volume 4 about one year ago and keep reading the first page of this volume, loving it, and then putting it down because it's too weighty to begin while other books are demanding my attention); Selected Poems of W.H. Auden; Don Quixote (also sad...this was intended to be my BIG summer study project).

It's a long list for a short commute.


No joke--as I was searching for the lovely bug image above, a cockroach came crawling around the corner of my desk. This caused me to make a swallowed yelp sound, leap out of my chair and attempt to get a good angle for shoe-smashing. Observing this particular cockroach's sluggish gait, I will assume (and hope I'm correct) that this is cockroach # 3, sited earlier today, sprayed vigorously with "floral-scented" roach killer, but lost to the wilderness of dust and possible cockroach carcasses under my stove. That would mean that there have been 4 encounters with 3 separate bugs, all ending in death.
[If I am incorrect...]