Every morning I get up before anyone else, turn on the coffee, turn on the light and play a brutal round of massacre the cockroaches. They come in three sizes and three speeds. The babies, which are like ants but grosser, I can squash with my bear hands and while not slow, it’s easy to get em. The adolescents require a tissue and more focus. The adults used to require a shoe but I can use a tissue now. They are fast as fuck and damn if they aren’t as intelligent as we are. I have found a hand broom useful to sweep them unto the floor which provides a larger field of opportunity for chasing, stomping and squashing. They are not delicate. It’s hard to kill them. I kind of have to go berserk. But every roach killed is a roach that can’t breed. I have come to feel an urgent overwhelming desire to decimate them all and as I get better at killing them I can’t help but wonder who I am becoming.
I know myself as a person who will trap a spider in a plastic cup and free them outside the house. I picked up a june bug wandering over my keyboard with my bare hands and released him on the balcony just a few days ago while in an editing session with a client. I much prefer to live and let live. I respect and revere life. I don’t want to be a killer.
But the roaches totally took over our silverware drawer. They annexed it like Russia annexed Crimea. What happened was we had spotted one too many roaches crawling over the silverware. In your world how many is one too many? It doesn’t have to happen a lot now does it? But, there is also the problem of a small kitchen and few silverware placement options. We only have 3 freaking drawers. The second one is crammed with measuring cups, garlic presses and wine openers. The third has a hand mixer and 500 cookie cutters.
A few years ago I bought myself a nice bamboo silver wear holder. No more beige plastic settling for less for me. Its the little things that make my day and this bamboo organizer really made me happy every time I saw it. The drawer was nice and neat, everything in it’s place and looking sharp. That’s a small but consistent hit of dopamine right there because you get silverware out three or more times a day. So simple and yet so effective.
But not so much with the addition of roaches.
We did all the things. Boric acid everywhere, roach traps, foaming up holes in the wall, sprays, essential oils. Nothing slowed those fuckers down. And ground zero for them was the silverware drawer. That was their hot spot. I did some googling and read about pheromone deposits on wood, gross! I immeditaely washed the heck out of the bamboo (a wood product), the drawer (wooden) and the silverware. But come on, there are only so many times in a row that you will have the motivation to wash all your clean unused silverware and two slow drying wood items. Three times in three days was it for me. Life is too short.
So even though it made me really mad, I let go of the bamboo and replaced it with a horrible grey plastic organizer from Ikea. It had two less compartments and there goes the dopamine releasing tidiness. Oh well! At least we could still have guests over without shame.
Au contraire, mon frère!
That didn’t have one iota of effect. Next steps; Husband took the drawer out, washed and painted it and put a big roach trap smack in the center. Silverware was put into two upright plastic holders like you see at some cafes. It was supposed to be temporary. We waited. Surely that was the end of that, right? No! We are just getting started.
This beautiful clean empty painted drawer became the scene of a macabre and inexplicable cockroach ritual. For reasons that may forever be unknown, roaches would travel far and wide to come here and deposit a limb. Over the course of a month, the drawer filled with roach legs. I kid you not. Not roach corpses, but limbs. I mean, how does that work? WTF?!
In good news, we never see them on the kitchen table where the silverware now lives. More drastic measures are being taken. It’s getting handled. But one part of the mission is my morning massacre.
Not what I expected. But what I got.
4 1/2 years ago I wrote a blogpost called Not What I Expected. My next post will explain how it is that this essay, Part 3, got published before Part 2 which is still in draft form. So stay tuned for that bit of intrigue!