La Cucaracha Puede Caminar

I apologize for falling off the face of the planet…stealing WiFi here and there turned out to be harder than I thought. I finally moved into my new apartment this past week, and I got Internet installed late Friday night.

The new apartment is great…only that when I got home Saturday night, I found a black bird flying in my bedroom. Since I was so tired, I just stood there, trying to figure out what kind of bird in his right mind could be stuck in my bedroom. How did you get in, little birdie?

Lucas, however, wasn’t convinced. He started barking at it. It was the kind of bark that alerted me.

[Lucas has over 200 kinds of barks, I’m convinced. After living with him for 5 years, I can tell, just by his bark, whether he’s excited, afraid, trying to be funny, stuck behind a sofa, upset, sad, wanting to play, the wake-up Pola bark, or just plain desperate to go outside.]

Tonight’s bark, however, was the bark reserved for emergencies. He doesn’t use this bark very much; perhaps, once every three months. Let’s call this bark the Alarum bark, ok?

So I straightened up and took a step back. Lucas had already taken two steps backwards. He’s so much smarter than I am. I peered at the flying object, which seemed deranged in its flight course.

It wasn’t a black bird. And it definitely wasn’t Superman.

It was a giant cockroach with wings. What in Miami is known as a Palmetto bug. Here it’s just known as la gran cucaracha con alas, carajo.

At which point, I had to ask the Universe: is it personal? Is there a personal agenda against me?

I look at my bed, and oh yes, right there on the brand-new white linens, is another cockroach. Its antennae are moving lazily back and forth. He’s looking at me with curiosity. Then, I look at the lampshade. Nice touch! There’a German cockroach there, just hanging out. [German cockroaches are like the dwarf ponies of the cockroach world; they’re small and for me, easier to kill. I just can’t stand that crunchy/liquidy sound when you kill a regular-sized cockroach.]

Ok, so the Universe has a personal agenda. It’s personal. And here I was thinking that all the shit that had hit the fan in the last two years had to be a statistic outlier. Fine, bring it on.

I close the door and sleep in the living room WITH ALL THE LIGHTS ON on Friday night.

On Saturday, a nice man named Carlos came to fumigate. After he left, I went to Walgreens and bought cockroach guns: 40 roach motels, sprays, and that fogger BOMB thing that causes irreparable neurological damage in you and your loved ones.

I come back home and open the bedroom door: ” I know how this ends. Either leave, or I will murder all of you and your children.” I close the door.

I’ve been trying really hard to be a Buddhist, so every time I find a living organism that is lost (like a bright green iguana in a white parking lot) or confused (like a fly trying desperately to get out a closed window), I actually take my damn time to help the critter back to its natural habitat. Now, I’ve heard that in order to be a true Buddhist, you don’t kill anything, NOT EVEN COCKROACHES.

But the flesh is weak, the flesh is very weak. And even I, an animal lover, must draw the line somewhere in the sand. The most Buddhist thing I could do was elicit a warning, and hope they understood.

Of course, the cockroach is known for not having a sense of respect in the animal kingdom, so I’m sure they all laughed at me, called more of their peeps, and are getting ready to start a cockroach convention on my bed. Complete with a few that fly for their own version of Cirque du Soleil: Cucaracha Fantastique.

Well, cucarachas, your deaths are imminent. Later that day, I sprayed everywhere that I could think of in the bedroom. Then I sprayed all over the apartment.

But then, for the last two days, I’ve been sleeping in the living room with all lights on because I’m too chickenshit to sleep in the bedroom.

I need courage.