A few days ago, I saw a dead roach on its back in my bathroom.
Now, something you need to know about the way I work before we delve into this story–my life is comprised largely of what I call busyness, but which I suspect old-timey philosophers would call laziness. That is, I deal with things as they come up in my life, and I have a very narrow definition of what “to have come up in my life” means. My busyness fills up my time perfectly so that I manage to accomplish my responsibilities, have some fun, and avoid any truly unpleasant of difficult tasks, like fixing the air conditioning of my car, because I really and truly believe that it’s easier to just sweat.
Now a roach has the capacity to be on my “take action” action radar. The roaches that I found on my bed when I was in LA definitely compelled me to a certain degree of action. The 2 inch long roaches I saw the other day in an industrial kitchen prompted me to action (if “leaping about and shrieking” count). And had this roach been, say, alive, or very large, or crawling into my ear, as my host grandma in LA warned me they are prone to do, I would doubtless have attempted, in some way or another, to remove said critter from my immediate social circle.
But this roach was tiny. And helpless. Not to mention dead. Survey said that it posed no great threat, so I thought, “I’m too busy,” and walked back to my room to engage in crucial activities like comparing my arm to my stomach to see if my arms are still Day-Glo white (they are) and picking my nose.
At some other point in the day, I walked back into the bathroom and realized that the roach was moving. This prompted a brief panic, but the bug was still helpless on its back, so I felt relatively secure in walking away again. I briefly wondered whether I should kill it but the very thought of feeling exoskeleton crushing under my feet or between my fingers makes me cringe. Besides, I wanted to send a message to other roaches that might be out there–you come into the light, you die a slow, horrible, painful death, while cruel humans step over you to callously brush their teeth!
So the roach remained, and each time I walked into the bathroom, I viewed its demise with detached interest. I won’t say how long it was there, but there was a point in time where I started to think that if we set out a trap and maybe incorporated some butterflies, we could start a “dead or dying insect” theme going in our bathroom.
Yesterday my sweet roommate took it upon herself to remove the roach carcass from our bathroom, and we all lived happily ever after.
Until this morning. This morning, I realized that happily ever afters don’t exist. I was picking up my room, which I admit needs a bit of a “Heidi Montag” in terms of a makeover, and when I shifted a pile of clothes, I saw a roach. This one was bigger. And it was crawling. ON MY SHOE.
My busy life came to a crashing halt. This despicable creature was trying to lay claim to my possessions and space. This was war.
I raced to the kitchen, grabbed our RAID, and with reckless disregard for my values of living organically, sprayed about 1/4 cup on the interloper.
It’s now flat on its back, dead.
And I’ve decided that the “dead insect” theme was far too good for the bathroom, anyway. Now if I could just get a butterfly or two. . .