I re-read the William Carlos Williams poems that were part of our required reading for 20th Century US Literature. There is something there: a certain magical poesy even in the midst of the abstract. In many ways he was both avant-garde and folksy at the same time.
At the beginning of the month when my landlord came for the rent, I told him that I’d started seeing a few cockroaches and asked him to have the exterminator come by with some gel. Raja called me at the end of the week to say that Orkin would be coming on Monday between 13:00 and 17:00 and that he gave them my number so I could let them in. At around noon I was just about to start cleaning the kitchen up when my phone rang and it was Shane from Orkin, saying he was a two blocks away. It was kind of embarrassing to have someone visit my place and especially my bathroom in such a filthy state, but I’ll bet he’s seen worse many times. I told him that I see one cockroach every two or three days, mostly around the stove and the kitchen sink; that over several months I’d seen some around the fridge and further back than that, in the bathroom.
When he pulled out a white tube about the size of one of toothpaste, I asked if the gel formula has changed. He proudly declared, “This is the Cadillac of cockroach gels and it’s very expensive. The name of the product is Avert, it’s a powder and the active ingredient is abamectin. He told me that there is a gel made by Bayer that’s very popular because it’s white and looks nicer when it’s applied but it’s not effective. Avert, on the other hand, though it literally looks like shit, the roaches love it and it keeps killing generation after generation of them if they manage to reproduce before they die. Shane said he likes it because he doesn’t like having to come back.
Shane said he lives in the Junction and it’s filling up with Hipsters there now that complain about the noises of trains. What did they think they were going to hear when they moved to a place called “The Junction”?
We talked about Parkdale and he informed me that there are world-renowned restaurants in my neighbourhood. I was surprised and asked which ones were world-renowned. He answered “General Electric” but I think he meant Grand Electric. I had no idea it was that well known or that it was a taqueria. I’m sceptical that it is “world-renowned though.
That night I watched the third Alfred Hitchcock Hour of the second season. This one starred Dick York, who played Darren on Bewitched. In this story he is a small town sheriff investigating the murder of a farmer’s son named Tom, who appears to have been beaten to death before being thrown into a roadside ditch. At the place where the corpse is found, after the body is taken away, the young man’s father, John, finds a piece of glass. The glass fits the broken right headlight of an old convertible that belongs to the sheriff's girlfriend, Susan, who is one of the local librarians. She bought the car from the other, older librarian, Flora, who bought it from a man named Frenchie.
Frenchie comes to look at the father's farm because he's put it up for sale. When Frenchie's back is turned the father bangs his head in with a hammer and throws him in the same ditch where his son was found. After two murders, everybody in the town is frightened. The next night the sheriff says he will pick up Susan from the library. Since there are no customers, Susan sends Flora home. When Flora gets home there is a knock on the door. It's John and she lets him in because he's a friend. But when he comes in he asks Flora if she killed his son. He admits to having killed Frenchie and on hearing that, Flora faints. While she is unconscious John hammers her head in. There is a town hall meeting full of people from the town and then Frenchie’s mother walks in to tell the sheriff that it was Frenchie that accidentally killed Tom. He confessed to it in a letter that she found after he was murdered. He hit Tom with his car while driving drunk and too fast. He sold the car to Flora because it made him feel guilty to drive it. It suddenly dawned on the sheriff that the murderer was John and that he was killing everyone that had driven the car because there had been no way of telling how long Tom had been dead. The sheriff rushes out to warn Susan, but John has already lured her to the ditch here Tom was found by calling her and telling her that he is going to kill himself there. When she arrives John grabs her and prepares to use his hammer on her as well, but the sheriff stops him just in time.