I woke up this morning to find that I had company in my bed. Julius, I know what you are thinking. It is not the kind of company you are thinking of (I can see your imagination going into overdrive, you opposite-of-clean old man 😀), though I would certainly welcome such company with warmth and open arms. The company of which I speak is that most detestable of creatures - the cockroach. My mattress was on the veranda of the second floor of the two-family house in which I am staying. I had chosen to sleep on the veranda at nights so that I could enjoy the cool Bahia air. Beats being in New York at this time with a weather that cannot seem to make up its mind whether to be cold, wet, or just right. The temperature in Bahia (guess where in South America it is 😊) is just right (at least for me) at this time of the year. Anyway, back to that cockroach.
I grew up with cockroaches. If you are from the so-called third world, cockroaches are an accepted reality; they live with you. I have images of my father pouncing on them and dispatching them with a shoe or flip-flop. I dispatched my unwelcome and loathsome visitor with the same efficiency as that of my father. Learned behavior obviously, except that my summary execution of the abominable pest was combined with a palpable disdain and disgust - quite a contrast to the fortitude I remember seeing my father display. The fellow was similar to the ones with which I grew up in my homeland, Guyana. It was huge and of a light brown color.
The cockroaches in New York City are bearably smaller though still capable of generating similar loathing and disgust in me. But guess what? Neither the ones with which I grew up nor the smaller New York variety can come close to the ones I experienced in my second homeland, Jamaica. In my beautiful Jamdown the cockroaches there are slightly bigger than the one I drone struck this morning (got the little "f-word" on the first strike too.). But what I find most incredible is that the Jamaican roaches seem to possess an exterior made of metal. A truck could run over one of those guys, and it would still live. Anyway, I digress; please pardon the slight detour. It has been several hours since the ill-fated invasion (reminds me of the Bay of Pigs) and since the attempted occupation of my bed, but my skin still "crawls" from thinking of the experience. Ugh!!! Looks like it's back to the status quo - no sleeping on the veranda for me tonight.
[photo art by Ric Couchman]