this is residency: carrying leeches in my purse


When Y started residency, I committed to a few things: keeping the house clean so he wouldn't feel stressed the precious moments he was at home (failed), having dinner waiting for him after a long day (failed), and carrying around leeches in my purse (succeeded!).

After he realized that hanging out with Ike and me wasn't relaxing enough -- I beg to differ, the soothing high-pitched tones of WHOSTHECUTESTPUPPYINTHEWORLD are quite relaxing -- Y decided he needed a hobby. He picked fishing. Ike and I were not invited.

When a resident decides on a Sunday evening that he wants to go fishing on his next day off (in this case, a Wednesday), he has to plan carefully. On Tuesday, he had a 1 hour window of opportunity when he got off work before every other business closed for the day. In that sliver of time, he bought a fishing pole and whatever other accessories fishing requires -- except for bait. 

That was when he turned to me with resident eyes (which are similar to puppy dog eyes except that I don't have to pick gunk out of them).

"Will you pick up bait tomorrow on your lunch break?"

Sure, I said. This is how I imagined the errand would go: I would buy a can of worms (what other container was I supposed to assume worms come in?), throw it in my car and head back to work.

It was more difficult than that.


There happens to be a bait store not far from my work. When I told the cashier where Y would be fishing, he nodded knowingly. "You need leeches." 

Just the word leeches made me want to vomit, but I managed to keep it together and accept the two most disgusting plastic tupperware containers to ever exist. As I walked out, I was reminded to keep the containers refrigerated or their contents would "turn to mush".

I gagged silently. 

So much for forgetting about the bait in my car. I started hatching a plan to secretly store leeches in my work refrigerator. Luckily, the cashier at the bait store had put my disgusting purchase in a white paper bag that looked a lot like a lunch.

(Speaking of lunch, I needed to pick mine up. Which involved leaving my car in the hot sun for several minutes. Terrified of leech mush, I reluctantly put the white bag of disgust in my purse while I ran into the grocery store, sneaking a peek every few seconds, and gagging as I felt everything slosh around in my purse. I'm positive I looked like a shoplifter with morning sickness.)

When I got back to work, my heart was pounding as I prepared to act on my top secret mission. I didn't know if leeches smelled. If they could escape from their tupperware. If they made noise. I had only been working at my job for a few weeks, and I didn't feel comfortable enough to ask the forward question Can I store leeches in the refrigerator?

I stuffed my little pets into the back of the fridge, behind a 2 year old jar of peanut butter, and proceeded to check on them every 15 minutes. On check-in number, oh I don't know, 12 I noticed that the bottom of my white bag was soaked through. 

THE LEECHES HAVE OPENED THE TUPPERWARE, I instantly thought. I peeked into the bag and, for the first time, actually looked at the leeches (which were still safe in their plastic container).

And that was how I found myself, on my 15th day of work, sitting on the communal kitchen floor, gagging and wondering what my life was coming to.

PS. Y has been fishing for several weeks, and the only thing he's caught is this old fishing pole.



PPS. I went fishing once, for an hour, and caught 20 fish.