Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Dream Theater: Temporary Exterminator

Photo from

I went back to my hometown of Knoxville, Iowa for a short while, to work as an exterminator. I had a list of homes to inspect and, if necessary, place poison and traps.

The first was on the far east side of town, an apartment in one of several run-down buildings. The tenants were home and turned out to be a surprisingly young and attractive man and woman. They didn't seem like the type to be living in that kind of an apartment in a town like Knoxville. I was tempted to ask if they were happy there and if they had plans to eventually leave.

They lead me around a warren of small rooms, each with a different color and kind of linoleum on the floor that gave the place a jumbled, disorganized feel. What little furniture I saw was worn and obviously second-hand. The walls were bare and in need of fresh paint. There was no TV or other electronics. It occurred to me they were probably just starting out, and this was their first place together.

We ended up in the living room. A mattress occupied the middle of the floor, and on it a second couple was having vigorous sex, oblivious to our presence.

The first couple acted as though this sort of thing happened all the time, and stood there waiting to explain who I was and why I was there. I waited, too, watching the action before me and feeling a bit perverted, but also admiring the energy with which young people--particularly young men--can fuck.

And then I was examining the perimeter of the room, looking for the telltale signs of insect and rodent infestations.

But there was nothing. No holes or gaps in the walls or floorboards, no mouse droppings scattered like black grains of rice.

There was nothing I could do for them. I thanked them for their time, apologized for the interruption, and went on to my second stop.

No comments: