Here at Living we harbor a little obsession for the "Missed Connections" section of Craig's List. We like them because sometimes they're "Awwwww!" and then sometimes they're "Ewwwwww!" and we enjoy both for different reasons. Today: stds and bad beer! Who can say no to a listing titled "I had bedbugs, you had herpes"?
I wish I had that conversation to do over. We met at Boulevard Tavern and we both had had a little too much to drink. After talking about bands and suggestive billboards and tattoos, we began discussing "deal breakers." It just so happened that this was a day or so after I awoke with what felt like mosquito bites on my arms and shoulders, and I told you that I thought they might be bedbug bites. You told me that you would never sleep in a bed that had ever had bedbugs or with a man who had ever slept in such a bed and I, offended, told you that I would never sleep with a woman who had ever had an outbreak of herpes. Then you stalked off, leaving me with my Blue Nun (the PBR of 2008, dawg) to wonder how an evening that began with such promise could end so badly.
OK, first of all, I got rid of most of my bedding, washed the rest in very hot water, encased the mattresses in vinyl encasements, and brought in an exterminator. He is convinced from the pattern and number of bites that it was a SPIDER that got me, not bedbugs. (As he put it, "I don't see breakfast, lunch and dinner.") It's been over sixteen days since I last got bit, and if there were bedbugs left in there, I'd have been bitten every night since and their eggs would have hatched to bite me even more. Didn't happen, so maybe it was a spider or a mosquito after all. No matter, the place has been cleaned and sprayed, so there is less chance of bedbugs here than wherever else you might choose to end up. (And, not to gross you out, but homeless dudes on the subway are always shedding whatever is crawling on their skin. I know you ride the L line, so how do you know you are not picking up bedbug eggs from sitting where a homeless dude with a filthy blanket has just sat?) As far as the herpes crack goes, I don't know if you have it or not, but I use condoms, and you could use Valtrex (R), so why should this stop us? I felt a connection with you, a real one, a surprising one. It isn't often that a man like me, grinding it out for Conde Naste with all those pretentious trust funder types living in SoHo, gets to meet a girl with your look and sensitivities. I think there is something there between us worth pursuing, and we should not let the false possibility of bedbugs or blisters get between us. Write back. I want a mulligan.