The Reason Cockroaches Exist

While scientists will tell you that cockroaches are actually needed for the ecological balance of a habitat because these critters help biodegrade everything—ants, old food, new food, dust, newly shed-off human and animal skin cells, newspaper, and cardboard—I say differently.

These beings were put here so we could shit on ourselves every time they make an appearance and force us to make a choice: do we continue our mission or do we abort?

No, my friends, we do not abort, we never abort. We wage war. Cockroaches are here to tell us that violence is the one and only answer to a problem. Notice that cockroaches come from the order “Blattaria or Blattodea.” Let’s call it “Blatt” for short. Notice that if you move the “l” to the end of the word, you now have the word “Battl.” Add just one letter and you have: Battle.

I mean, they’re just begging for it.

I’m not going to elaborate on common knowledge surrounding the cockroach: that they would be the only things to survive a nuclear holocaust (by the way, this is not entirely true: turns out the fruit fly is a lot more resistant to radiation than a cockroach would ever be, for now); that they can survive for three weeks after having their heads cut off; and that they can go 45 minutes or more without air. We also know that cockroaches are univerally known both for their element of surprise and their sense of timing (or “humor,” as they prefer it to be called).

No, we are all too familiar with these horrendous facts.

In order to coexist, we need to accept the inevitable existence of cockroaches and more importantly, what that existence means to us, spiritually.

Cockroaches are life’s little (or big, if you live in the tropics like me) disgusting way of reminding you that you can’t do something, that you must be afraid, and that you can’t achieve what you dream of. They are the animal kingdom’s major buzzkills: their sole purpose is to destroy your sense of resolve, bring you to your knees, and cut your soul into irretrievable pieces.

But are they really life’s major killjoys? Or are they something else? Are they here to test our character, to see whether we can actually overcome Fear and start doing and achieving what we want instead of what society dictates?

My friends, cockroaches are life’s intangible problems made disgustingly and distinguishably tangible, so that we can see that we have a choice. Either we shy away from confronting an issue when it becomes too big for us, or we actually garner strength and speed and gallop like Phar Lap toward the problem, ravenous to destroy it so it stops destroying us.

If you find yourself dreaming about cockroaches (like I have for the last two nights in a row) or, even better, you find a cockroach in your home (like I have for the past week), don’t fret. This is life’s little way of telling you to be resilient, and what better embodiment of resilience can there be than the cockroach?

So go ahead, and show the cockroach that you too are known for your element of surprise and sense of timing. Murder that little bugger* and let life know who’s the boss. Because you’re worth it!

Thanks Maybelline.

*With absolutely no apologies to the CLF (Cockroach Liberation Front). Even I, an animal lover, has to draw the line somewhere in the sands of Puerto Rico.

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