I killed a cockroach in my apartment yesterday afternoon.
I’d just come in from a lazy walk around the ‘hood to get some sunshine, tomatoes and an Italian soda and was feeling pretty chilled out and pleased with myself. I sauntered into my bedroom to flick on the window fan – and that’s when I saw something scuttle across the floor headed for safer ground under the bed.
At this point I wasn’t too concerned about what genus this bug belonged to. I sort of just thought it was something innocuous. It was too slow to be a millipede. I thought, Perhaps this is a silverfish? I went and got a Kleenex with which to decimate the little fucker.
I calmly re-entered the room. “Ha-ha, Bug! This bed has wheels!” I exclaimed, giving the bed a shove. Bug, exposed, did something that would have given me pause had adrenaline not kicked in just then jolting me into action. It ran towards me.
Swiftly, I bent down and trapped it beneath my Kleenex. Now I pondered the bug having run towards me, not away. Bug was either blind or dumb. Cockroach? I gave the wad of Kleenex another press for good measure. Surely not. Then, bug escaped. Further under the bed this time.
I recomposed myself. Time to die, Bug. Nice try. You think you can beat me, Bug? I have already had moths, ants, flying ants and a squirrel this year. I am a killing machine. Well, okay, I didn’t kill the squirrel. But you, you I am going to kill.
I moved the bed gently, in stealth mode. Again, I trapped the bug beneath the Kleenex. I wasn’t taking any chances this time. I got the Kleenex under my foot and let that goddamn bug feel my full 156 pounds crashing down on his head.
Briiing, briiiing, The Egyptian calling.
“I JUST KILLED A VERY SCARY BUG!”
“Um … okay.”
“WHAT IF IT WAS A COCKROACH???”
“I don’t think it was a cockroach, Honey.”
“OH MY GOD, IT WAS A COCKROACH.” Interesting, how I went completely crazy only after it was all over. “IT WAS A COCKROACH. I AM GOING TO THROW MYSELF OFF A BRIDGE.”
“Okay, I’ll look at it when I get there.”
I hung up and peeked into the wad of Kleenex. I saw a spiny leg and was too grossed out to look any further. I considered how the bug was so stupid that it ran towards me. I considered the bug’s spiny leg. I considered how it merrily continued on its way after a crushing that would have killed most other bugs. Cockroach. Sigh. Nevertheless, 20 minutes later, The Egyptian/bug coroner was retrieving the crumpled tissue from my desk and I was saying, “Maybe … it’s not a cockroach …?”
“Honey, this is a cockroach.”
**echoing “NOOOOO” heard around the world**
“Old buildings,” said the Egyptian, leaving little doubt as to what sort of building we’d live in should we ever merge units.
Unlike the moth situation, which to this day I have kept to myself, I wasted no time advising the “Superintenant” of the cockroach. Somehow, despite evidence to the contrary, I feel as though the moths could really be my fault. Whereas I am entirely indignant about the cockroach. The cockroach couldn’t possibly be my fault. Minus a 3 year sojourn into home ownership, I’ve dwelled in apartments for nearly two decades and never seen a roach (surprisingly, even two years ago, when this building did in fact have a cockroach infestation, for some reason the cockroaches overlooked my unit). Then again, I’ve never seen a clothing moth either. Guess something about my theory needs reworking.
Fortunately, the Superintenant was very responsive to my frantic email – probably because he lives in the apartment directly beside mine. Forevermore, we will regard each other with neurotic suspicion. He said he’ll call the “company we work with” on Monday.
I have never recovered from a television documentary about cockroaches I watched years ago. I learned that they can survive on anything. Even if you are meticulous and leave out no crumbs, it doesn’t matter. Roaches are happy to eat your soap. So until the exterminator arrives, I have no choice but to implement a Google ban on myself. I over-Googled moths and we know what happened with that. I went caa-raaaazy. If I learn more about cockroaches than I already know I’ll have to be put in a padded room.
Now I think nostalgically about the moths. Oh, remember when I washed every soft item I owned and lived out of garbage bags for five months? Aww, that was a fun time.