Cockroach Casualty

On the last day of keeping track of everyone new I’ve met for one week I had a sudden stroke of good luck. My plans were canceled and I had nothing to do. I rarely have nothing to do and so I had forgotten that doing nothing was EXACTLY what I wanted to do. And so, Saturday, June 21st, the final day of my experiment of counting how many new people I’ve met I decided to meet no one and do nothing except hang out with myself in my apartment reading and watching whatever happened to burn itself out from the inside of my television.

I couldn’t have been happier to discover that the female gymnastics Olympic trials were on. I used to be a diver. I traveled with Cirque du Soleil. I’m very bendy and like bendy people. You know how people feel when their babies are born? You know how they use that expression, “Over the moon” to describe their feelings? I get it. Me and the cow were jumping over the fucking moon.

Anyway, I’m watching the trials and responding to email when I sense, from the periphery of my sight, movement. I look up and to my unbelievable horror, a waterbug is doing its own floor routine on the upper perimeter of my wall. I sit there like an accident victim not knowing at all how to respond. The presence of this very living thing brings up one of my true failings: how to kill something. Now, don’t misread this. I don’t mean that I feel badly killing bugs, I mean this literally. How exactly do you kill something that’s bigger than your own fucking hand? With a shoe? No — can’t handle the splatter or the crunch. Trap it under Tupperware? Yes, good, except that brings you very close to the living jet that is crawling faster than you can walk. And if you are going to trap it, how do you get it down from the ceiling? With a broom? No — then you’ll lose track of it when it scurries away or worse, when you discover the thing IS actually a plane and FLIES!

So I did what any other killing machine would do. I ran to the kitchen to get Raid. When I come back to the living room, Superbug has crawled to the other end of the room. Fast motherbugger. Nastia Liukin is up now, doing her floor routine. She’d probably double-back tuck this roach to death. Her bad music starts and she trails across the blue mat doing outrageously preposterous flips when I realize I should stand on the back of my couch with the raid can (and it’s glorious yellow nozzle), edging to the end of the couch to get as close as possible to Herr Bugg. However, the roach is about five feet higher than I am and so I decide to jump up, spray and then land. Wasn’t so hard for Shawn Johnson on the beam, how hard could it be for me? So I jump, spray and while I’m mid-air, spraying, The worst possible thing that can happen, happens. The roach scurries out of sight to the top of the door frame and disappears into the molding. I come down hard on the couch. My landing doesn’t stick and I lose my footing and stumble banging my foot against the couch and then again against my coffee table. I land on the opposite side of the couch, but that landing was a perfect 10! I’m in Chaturanga.

That night, my swollen and purple foot and I aren’t sure whether we should move or call the cops. There’s a cockroach at large in my apartment. How am I supposed to fall asleep? What if I wake up and it’s on my face? I get in bed with the Raid can, eyes open until 5am when I finally fall asleep.

The foot swells, turns a garish purple and blue and a couple days later (yes, a couple — I was busy!) I limped into a walk-in center, got x-rayed and was told that I broke my foot and would need to spend my summer in a cast. All because of a fucking cockroach.

Getting a cast or “The Boot” tomorrow. Pictures to follow…

SEND ME YOUR COCKROACH STORIES and I’ll post the best ones!


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